Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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2019 MLS player salary list released

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The MLS Players Association (MLSPA) has released its latest salary figures for 2019, and there are plenty of increases across the board.

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Yes, that’s right, by now you will probably know that MLS has been releasing its player salaries for the past 13 years mainly to highlight how much room there still is for improvement in terms of how much players are paid in the top-flight of North American soccer.

While the large salaries of Designated Players continue to dominate the headlines, some of the most pleasing increases for the MLSPA will be from roster spots 10-18 as players in those positions across MLS squads have seen their wages rise by 10 percent over the past five years.

Below are a few facts released by the MLSPA on the 690 players under contract in MLS as of June 1, 2019:

  • The Average Base Salary for Senior Roster Non-Designated Players in MLS reached $345,867 in 2019, up 13.3% over the previous year with double-digit growth across the roster.
  • A 150% increase in the Average Base Salary over the last five years for Senior Roster Non-Designated Players, from $138,140 in 2014 to $345,867 in 2019
  • Eighth consecutive year of Average Base Salary increases for Senior Roster Non-Designated Players.

You can download and view the entire list of MLS player salaries right here.

Here’s a look at the top 10 earners in MLS based in 2019 based on their guaranteed salary.

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy) – $7.2 million
2. Giovani dos Santos (Listed as MLS, former LA Galaxy) – $6.5 million
3. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) – $6.4 million
4. Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) – $6.3 million
5. Carlos Vela (LA FC) – $6.3 million
6. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire) – $5 million
7. Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact) – $4.4 million
8. Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC) – $3.8 million
9. Wayne Rooney (DC United) – $3.5 million
10. Josef Martinez (Atlanta United) – $3 million

Report: Galaxy look to buy Pavon, let Boca Juniors keep stake

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This could be some sort of brilliance from the LA Galaxy, a miniature version of what Atlanta United did with Miguel Almiron.

The Galaxy are said to be willing to purchase 70 percent of much-desired Cristian Pavon for $12 million, putting the 23-year-old Boca Juniors playmaker and nine-times capped Argentine on the books for his former coach, Gulleirmo Barros Schelotto.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

That $12 million figure somewhere between half — according to Transfermarkt — and a lesser fraction of what Pavon is expected to one day fetch from any number of suitors, including Arsenal.

MLSSoccer.com suspects that the Galaxy would cut ties with injured Romain Alessandrini in order to add Pavon as a Designated Player.

Instead of setting up Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi as he did for Argentina on his two international assists, Pavon would then help set up Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a half-season (or more). And then, perhaps as early as the January window, Pavon could get its money back and then some.

Yet while Almiron’s draw to Atlanta United was the idea of playing for Tata Martino, the Galaxy’s coach already has managed Pavon. There should be little transition period, although we’ve seen that can be tricky in the case of Atlanta’s new boy, Pity Martinez.

The Galaxy are already a contender for MLS Cup, but LAFC stands in their way. That’s the one club in the league — sorry San Jose — who the Galaxy cannot afford to let look like a clearly superior side.

The timing of this report serves some notice that it could be a vehicle to inspire bigger bids from the Gunners and other international suitors this early in the transfer window. The MLS window, after all, does not open again until July 9.

Report: Inter Miami makes huge offer to Luis Suarez

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A Catalan radio station has David Beckham swinging for the fences with one of his first Designated Player signings at Inter Miami.

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has been offered a rich 4-year deal by the former Real Madrid and Manchester United playmaker, whose club is set to debut in 2020.

[ RECAP: France 2-3 U.S. U-20s ]

Suarez will turn 33 during next season, prior to the start of Major League Soccer’s campaign. He has scored 25 or more goals in each of his last seven seasons, the last five spent with Barcelona after a 30- and 31-goal campaigns with Liverpool.

Seeing what Zlatan Ibrahimovic is doing with the LA Galaxy shows that aging elite strikers can still terrorize MLS (and many other leagues). The Uruguayan has been durable, too, making 40-plus appearances in each of his seasons with Barca.

MLS (early) roundup: Galaxy, TFC, FCD all lose at home (video)

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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action from the early set of games in Major League Soccer…

[ MORE: Ex-NYCFC star pushes Leeds ahead of Derby in promotion playoffs ]

LA Galaxy 0-2 New York City FC

Following a strong start to the Guillermo Barros Schelotto era (six wins from seven games), the Galaxy have fallen back onto hard times in recent weeks and lost three straight, including Saturday’s home defeat at the hands of NYCFC. In those three successive defeats, they have conceded eight goals. At the risk of overreacting, they look once again like the 2018 team that conceded 64 times and missed the playoffs.

NYCFC did all of their damage in a three-minute span just before the halftime whistle, which left the Galaxy reeling as they went into the locker room. Heber and Maxi Moralez (penalty kick) got the goals, and NYCFC hardly broke a sweat in the second half.

The only real moment of danger for Dome Torrent’s side came in the 86th minute, when Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Chris Pontius each hit the woodwork. This, as is becoming all too commonplace these days, resulted in Ibrahimovic becoming physically violent against an opponent.

Toronto FC 1-2 Philadelphia Union

Speaking of teams looking more like the 2018 version of themselves rather than the new and improved 2019 squad, Toronto FC lost its second straight game, at home against the first-place Union.

Chris Mavinga put the ball into his own net in the 25th minute, but Alejandro Pozuelo dazzled the North American masses once again with a sublime free kick in the 51st minute.

The Union responded brilliantly, though, as Kacper Przybylko found a wide open Jamiro Monteiro inside the TFC penalty area, once again harkening back to the Reds’ 2018 form at the most inopportune time.

FC Dallas 1-2 New York Red Bulls

Cristian Casseres Jr. (12th minute), Sean Nealis (58th) and Brian White (85th) each bagged a goal in the Red Bulls’ comfortable 3-1 victory over FC Dallas. Chris Armas changed 10 of 11 starters from last week’s game, and the move paid off.

Entrenched starters Aaron Long, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Luis Robles, Daniel Royer and Marc Rzatkowski didn’t even travel with the team to Dallas.

FC Cincinnati 2-1 Montreal Impact

The Alan Koch era in Cincinnati ended abruptly this week, thus 29-year-old Yoann Damet’s (interim) tenure began on Saturday. Anytime you can end a five-game losing skid (and a winless run of seven), it’s a good day.

Allan Cruz opened the scoring in the 7th minute, ending Cincinnati’s 528-minute scoreless drought in the process. Fatai Alashe made it 2-0 just after the hour mark, and good thing he did because Orji Okwonkwo pulled a goal back for the Impact not even 15 minutes later.

LA Galaxy striker Ibrahimovic fined by MLS for diving

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been fined by the MLS disciplinary committee for diving in Wednesday’s 3-1 loss to the Columbus Crew.

[ MORE: David Luiz signs Chelsea extension ]

In the 28th minute, the Swedish international went head over heels in the penalty area under pressure from goalkeeper Zack Steffan, but replays showed he wasn’t touched and instead simply threw himself to the ground.

Ibrahimovic owns a whopping nine goals in nine appearances this season, but was held without a tally against Columbus, just the second match all season in which he has not scored. It also marked the second straight loss for the Galaxy, leaving them in second place in the West, with also three games more played than third-placed Houston.

Per league rules, Major League Soccer did not disclose the amount of the fine.

Ibrahimovic has not been shy this season, making headlines nearly every week for something other than goals. Most recently, he was involved in an altercation with Real Salt Lake’s Nedum Onuoah, earning a booking for a horse-collar tackle before making his way to the RSL locker room after the game to confront Onuoah. Ibrahimvoic was not punished for entering the opponent locker room.

When asked about the altercation, D.C. United defender Steve Birnbaum, a five-year MLS veteran, said he believes there’s a double standard in the league that skews towards the protection of designated players.