Portland Timbers Player Salaries Considered, Courtesy of the MLSPU

You notice little things at first, like how some Portland Timbers’ salaries include $.04 at the tail-end of their total compensation. Some other things pop out, too, but only after one consciously alphabetizes the roster for the first time…how the hell does Steve Zakuani not come last. (Answer: Ben Zemanski.)

Also, glad to make the acquaintance of some of the players below…didn’t even know we had a guy named “Evans” on the roster. Welcome aboard, Mr. Evans!

Yes, the MLS Players’ Union released the salaries for players across the league today. You can find it here – and sliced and diced a couple of ways for your reading pleasure and astonishment. I’m going to confine myself to staring at the Timbers salaries, though I might circle back over the weekend for one of those “high-low” posts that point to league’s worst injustices and dumbest gambles in terms of player salaries. Those seem to come out shortly after this thing.

Anyway, the Timbers salaries are listed below. Just FYI, I didn’t include all the “guaranteed” salaries, which gives a couple players a little bump; I just included the ones that upped their amount significantly.

Kalif Alhassan – $120K
Diego Chara – $170K
Mamadou Danso – $87.5
Steven Evans – $48,825
Gaston Fernandez – $150K
George Fochive – $36.5K
Bryan Gallego – $36.5K
Jake Gleeson – $66K
Michael Harrington – $125K
Jack Jewsbury – $132.5K (guaranteed)
Will Johnson – $300K
Pa Modou Kah – $240K
Aaron Long – $36.5K
Rauwshan. McKenzie – $48,825
Darlington Nagbe – $250K
Michael Nanchoff – $48,825
Norberto Paparatto – $100K
Taylor Peay – $36.5K
Frederic Piquionne – $142K
Alvas Powell – $48,825
Donovan Ricketts – $260K
Schillo Tshuma – $75K
Maximiliano Urruti – $200K
Jose Adolfo Valencia – $60K
Diego Valeri – $500K
Jorge Villafana – $72,765
Rodney Wallace – $175K (guaranteed)
Andrew Webber – $48.5K
Steve Zakuni – $120K
Ben Zemanski – $80,850

So, what do I think? All in all, that Portland does pretty well with compensation. The right guys are getting good money for the most part – and, there, I include Valeri, Johnson, Nagbe and Ricketts…let the record show, however, that both back-ups ‘keepers should get a bump next year at the latest, what with the way Ricketts keeps getting hurt (or hurting himself while giving up PKs, kicking groin, and naming names). And Valeri MIGHT be a little steep if his balls* don’t sort shortly. (*NOTE: I will often replace the word “groin” with “balls,” “cock,” “ding-ding,” etc.)

There are only a couple distortions and – again, this is just me talking – they’re not egregiously glaring. Diego Chara deserves a bit more, if only for being so very reliable – i.e. that’s injury-free on the most basic level, but he provides such a reliable presence that I feel like he deserves more. Going the other direction, Urruti’s compensation doesn’t remotely reflect his production, though I give whomever makes the calls on compensation a pass on that because they can’t always know the future and sometimes need to gamble. Also, Kah’s too high for my liking – I see him closer to $180K – but, meh.

To name one real positive in this: I’m much, MUCH more comfortable with both Fernandez and Paparatto now that I see what the org. is paying them. Those look like fair risks in the end (though I do wonder about the existence of step-increases for performance; does MLS even have those?).

One last thought, one that’s barely related: I’d like to see more of Frederic Piquionne, especially on that salary. And given how “freely” we’re scoring, why the hell isn’t Schello Tshuma picking up some minutes? I mean, what on earth do we have to lose?

Overall, though, I’d argue that Portland has it pretty close to right. Good on us.

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