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Posted by on Oct 29, 2012 in MLS, Philadelphia Union, Recent | 5 comments

Union Roster: Overpaid, Underpaid, or Properly Paid?

MLS released salary figures for its players. When Union fans think of players and their salaries, the first player who comes to mind is Freddy Adu. He is the team’s highest-paid player, and therefore receives more criticism. It got us at Union Dues thinking “how are the other players perceived against their cost to the team?”

Here is that list:


Freddy Adu: 519K. As mentioned in the opening paragraph, his compensation denotes that he should be the team’s most productive player. Most would consider that to not be the case. 23 games played, 5 goals, 1 assist. OVERPAID.

Chris Albright: 55K. He’s not asked to do much for this team other than be a veteran presence. He’s gotten in a few games recently, which makes Juan Diego Gonzalez jealous. PROPERLY PAID
Brian Carroll: 168K. He doesn’t show up on the stat sheet, other than for the rare bungled-in goal, and the occasional yellow card. The work that he puts in on the field in midfield defense is the reason that this will be the first of his 10 MLS seasons not making the playoffs. UNDERPAID (slightly)
Danny Cruz: 106K. His biggest asset is his effort, but 1 goal and 1 assist in the 9 matches he’s played with the team, given that he was thrown into the starting XI three days after he was acquired is actually solid. PROPERLY PAID
Keon Daniel: 59K. He possesses lots of poise on the ball, and lots of hair. His set-piece delivery is better than most on the team, and makes up for his lack of break-away speed. PROPERLY PAID
Gabe Farfan: 46K. The midfielder-turned-left-back has been as valuable for his sacrifice playing out of position and being forged in the fire of learning during matches. UNDERPAID
Michael Farfan: 94K. He’s a creative central attacking midfielder miscast as a right winger. He made the 2012 MLS All-Star Team as an injury replacement, and played well in his minutes as a sub. And he does chippy things that nearly start fights. All good things. UNDERPAID
Raymon Gaddis: 34K. Versatile bench players are the stuff that championship teams are made of. Ray, as a rookie, has made himself a valuable part of this team’s depth going forward. UNDERPAID (I mean, I make more than he does. Sheesh)
Gabriel Gomez: 295K. The beginning of his season had me thinking that he was a heart-of-the-team type of player. 10 matches later, he’s merely yet another slower central midfielder, but his free kicks are more dangerous than Brian Carroll or Michael Lahoud. But that’s not saying much because those two couldn’t hit water if they shot from the top row of the River End. OVERPAID
Chase Harrison: 44K. He’s a backup goalkeeper. Move along, nothing to see here. PROPERLY PAID
Christhian Hernandez: 54K. The way he spells his first name confuses me. He’s a Homegrown Player so his salary doesn’t count against the cap, so,…whatever. PROPERLY PAID
Chandler Hoffman: 91K. He lights up Reserves matches, apparently. That’s a bit harsh and I guess it’s expected that a rookie wouldn’t play much. I guess it’s better than playing in those matches and NOT scoring goals, right? He’s a Generation Adidas player, so he also doesn’t count against the salary cap. That also is what’s keeping him from playing. Union don’t want him to graduate. If he can take his Reserve form to the first team, they’ve got a steal. For now… PROPERLY PAID
Antoine Hoppenot: 44K. You’ve watched the games, right? He creates drama with his timely runs behind the defense, creativity in passing vision, and getting under opponents’ skin with his flopping. UNDERPAID
Greg Jordan: 44K. He hasn’t played for Union yet. So… hmmm… well… he was born April 5, 1990 in Naperville, Illinois, apparently. Sure… PROPERLY PAID
Chris Konopka: 44K. That seems to be the going rate for back-up keepers. He played in one match, made 6 saves, though he allowed a goal. He’s the tallest guy on the team and he played the best single game for a Union keeper this season. And he was born in New Jersey, so in my opinion… UNDERPAID
Michael Lahoud: 84K. He runs a lot. Ok, that’s selling him short a little bit, but he covers ground and does good work defensively. He’s a bit of a hindrance to the offense with his lack of a threatening shot. OVERPAID
Porfirio Lopez: 125K. His best asset is his hair. And this time, that’s not sarcastic. He’s in over his head in MLS, which is possibly the most insulting thing I could say about him. But his hair is fantastic. OVERPAID
Zac MacMath: 135K. Zac is easily the runner-up to Freddy Adu in the contest of whose performance is most scrutinized. Fairly or not, Zac’s play has been under the microscope and I feel he’s been sub-standard. But, he is a starting-caliber goalkeeper in this league. PROPERLY PAID
Josue Martinez: 71K. It’s hard to judge his play. He averages just 33 minutes per appearance in his 18 games played (6 starts). I like his game, I’d just like to see more of it, so for now… PROPERLY PAID
Jack McInerney: 140K. He’s the team’s leading scorer, and the face of their overall youth-development philosophy. Aside from putting the ball in the net, he plays with an edge, and even had that awesome goal celebration where he let himself get pulled up into the River End. UNDERPAID
Jimmy McLaughlin: 57K. Another one of these guys who has yet to play for the first team. So, yeah… Um… He’s from Malvern! Good enough! PROPERLY PAID
Amobi Okugo: 173K. I thought it was desperate of the team to not get more immediate help at center back when Danny Califf was traded. In stepped AmoBEAST and he has owned the right center back position (except for that one game when Jairo Arrieta owned him). It’s nice when Carlos Valdes gets competition for best-full-field-attacking-run-from-a-defender status. The true theft here is that he’s still under a Generation Adidas contract, so Union aren’t even paying for what they get. UNDERPAID
Zach Pfeffer: 70K. He’s another one of these Homegrown types, so Union aren’t paying for him. He got two surprise starts last season, but must really be in Hackworth’s doghouse to go from a whole 136 minutes in 2011 to zero for this season. Ok, I threw that in there because I had really nothing else to go with. PROPERLY PAID
Bakary Soumare: 280K. He’s a tall central defender… who has played one match for Union. I would love to see Baky earn a starting spot so that Okugo can go back to being a midfielder, but injured knees have kept Soumare to just that single appearance. The 76ers are also about to find out what happens when you acquire a relatively tall player with pre-existing surgically-repaired knees… OVERPAID
Roger Torres: 119K. The diminutive Colombian is an unquestioned fan favorite. Injuries have limited his on-field production this season, though he has shown in trademark attacking guile in the little time he has been on the field. That being said, for the 2012 season he is… OVERPAID
Carlos Valdes: 268K. El Capitan is the rock around which the team is built, if by no reason other than default. Nowak traded all of the other leaders away. He is a 2012 MLS All-Star, and a starter for the Colombia National Team. In line with previous team captains, he is UNDERPAID
Sheanon Williams: 90K. It’s amazing to think that in 2010, Sheanon was just a guy with the Harrisburg City Islanders, brought in to be given a shot. He started 8 matches that year and has been part of the first choice XI ever since. He is getting about double what he got paid last year and is still UNDERPAID
Krystian Witkowski: 44K. With that salary, he must be another reserve goalie. Wait, he’s a midfielder? Oh… And by the way, doesn’t anyone spell it “Christian” anymore? PROPERLY PAID


  1. Sheanon Williams is paid exactly what he should be. Slightly under paid, if that. He’s by far one of the worst (returning) players this year. Offensively he’s had one good cross all season (we all know which I’m talking about too. New England) and defensively he’s been the biggest liability on the back line. Gaddis and Garfan should be our starters next season. Cash in on Williams while we can. And please.. Don’t use the toe injury as an excuse. If it was THAT bad, he wouldn’t of played 20+ games with it. Once Williams got a pay raise, his game slowly, but surely went into a downward spiral.

    Anyways. Gomez might be over paid but he’s still a solid player, we just don’t utilize him. Watch him play with Panama and how they use him, that is the Gomez we need. And his game is only ruined having to be partnered with 2 other central mids. He’ll find his game eventually.

    Jack is paid just what he should be. Any more than that and I’d expect him to score a lot more. The only thing that makes Soumare overpaid is the fact that he’s been injured. In the one game he played, he was very solid. I’d love for Okugo to move into the midfield but I can’t see him starting right away. We’d have to make some sacrifices, or maybe we can stop running the horrid 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 whatever this formation that doesn’t allow any creativity whatsoever.

    Anyways. /end rant

  2. Jimmy McLaughlin debuted for the first team against SKC on Wednesday so, um … well stop writing things like that. Umm, yea.

    • We stand corrected. Thanks

  3. I agree with this for the most part… However there are a few I completely disagree with. Shannon: he only played 8 games last year and doubled his salary, that’s pretty darn good. Just because he had one complete year doesn’t mean he automatically deserve another hefty raise. Lets see how he does during his second year…

    Carlos Valdez is being compensated fairly. He is a good player, but he is not a great player. When analyzing Valdes’ play, I have noticed that he makes a lot of mistakes, Okugo does a lot of cleaning up for him. He is just lucky that a lot of his mistakes go unnoticed because they are not costly.

    For guys like Gomez and Soumare, you have to look at the bigger picture. Gomez is an experienced player who Captains his national team and has earned close to a 100 caps, he also has a lot of experience having playing in Europe for many years.

    Soumare suffered a knee injury during his time in Germany. He is an excellent player, he was a beast in Chicago and did very well earlier this year in the Bundesliga to the point where he instantly became a fan favorite. Yes, that injury was a setback but there are no reasons why he won’t be back to full fitness at the beginning of preseason. In regards to his salary, it might seem like a lot of money, but remember this a guy that was sold $2.1 million to a French club 3 years ago while he was making slightly over 100k.

    There are a lot of components that go into players salary. It’s not all about what they brought to the table this season only… But you have to take in consideration their résumé and the reasons why they make the type of money they make. Yes some signing/salary make zero sense, but for guys like Adu, Soumare, Gomez, it’s a bit different.

    • True, but you kind of have to set the line in a piece like this and I think Nick set the line appropriately.

      That being said, there are many many factors that go into the reckoning and just as many opinions. We have a few other pieces looking at the League as a whole with the same general criteria, coming later this week.