Salary Cap

CBA Talk: Comparing MLS Player Salaries to Leagues Around the World by Jared Young

Before the 2020 Major League Soccer season begins the owners and players will need to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Metaphorically speaking, we could compare this negotiation to a pie eating contest, with the wrinkle being there is only one pie, and the goal is to eat the biggest piece. The fans offer the ingredients for this pie in the form of revenue, but it’s the league, the owners and the players who get to eat it. This contest won’t happen on the Coney Island Boardwalk or be streamed on ESPN+, but from time to time someone will emerge with public declarations intended to meddle with our opinions, and therefore put pressure on the other sides of the negotiation. Because we make the pie, you see, we ultimately decide how big it gets, so our opinions matter.

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Tim Howard, Frank Rost, and MLS' Abandonment of the Average American Player by Bill Reno

The offseason is a truly wonderful time for every backup player. Will this be the offseason their hard work is rewarded? Perhaps they'll receive a new contract with their current club. Maybe they will move up the depth chart or see greener pastures with a new team. The winter break changes teams’ concerns from what players have done last season to what the players could do next year. For backups and fringe starters, the starting of a new season offers hope in a variety of ways.

As ASA’s resident goalkeeper dude, the offseason carousel is truly a righteous ride. Each new year holds the potential of a Tim Melia: a goalkeeper who was passed on by every team in the league only to become the best. And then there are the Sean Johnsons and Joe Bendiks, players whose careers are finally ready for a positive turn with a new team. But don’t forget about the youngsters, like Alex Bono and Zack Steffen, who are given a chance to take the reins despite being a little green. With all these positive strides in the league, I was curious about the most important position’s payment for their services.

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MLS Capology: Constructing the Ideal MLS Roster by Jared Young

Major League Soccer is thankfully becoming more and more transparent every year, and as they peel back the curtain fans can understand (and challenge) the strategy of roster compositions of their favorite teams. Ultimately the printed rules allows fans to become more intimate with their teams. This year MLS published rosters that allocated players between the senior roster, supplemental and reserve roster positions. They also shared details about General Allocation Money (GAM). At this point it’s worth the effort to take stock of the various roster rules and funding agreements between the team and the league to determine some paths to building an MLS team.

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Visualizing Expected Goals, Actual Goals, and Player Salary by Alex Rathke

If you have not heard of Expected Goals (xG) then please have a read of these posts before continuing. 

11tegen11 has written about expected goals (xG) and concluded that it predicts future performance better than other metrics such as Points Per Game (PPG), Goal Ratio, Shots Ratio & Shots on Target Ratio.

Using the interactive visualization, you can see how your favorite players performed each season and how much they earned per season. As you will notice, a number of players "over-perform" and others "under-perform" their xG every season. We could classify them as being "lucky" or "unlucky". Dan Altman in this video explains why this may or may not be the case.

See the interactive graphic after the jump.

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The Goals Sprayin’, With Or Without You: Jermaine Jones and The Problem With “Points Added” in Soccer by Tom Worville

Here’s the deal. Jermaine Jones is a 34 year old United States international midfielder, whose contract with the New England Revolution expired at the end of the 2015 season. He is suspended for six games in the 2016 MLS season after assaulting a referee (see below), a ban that carries over into any league he eventually moves to.

According to Jones, the Revolution have made him an offer for the 2016 season, but it’s “less than 20%” of his salary from last season - which was $3,052,500 (meaning the offer by the Revolution is  less than $600,000). For a 34 year old player who is only eligible for 28 to 34 games and has had a history of groin injuries recently - that’s still a lot of money.

So what’s the fuss all about? Well Jones posted the following picture on Instagram recently (that has since been removed):


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Wages Are Still the Best Predictor of Results in MLS by Jared Young

Isn’t it great when the numbers are on your side? When they are sure to make your case quickly, because one thing for certain is that those numbers will be different next season? As the first MLS semifinal weekend approaches, an examination of the wages paid by the final four teams has parity parrots talking. Both the New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas sit at the bottom of the league payroll but are at the top of the league in results and hosting the second leg of the semifinals. The payroll underdog story makes all fans feel good. But should it?

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Value Available vs Value on Field: Evaluating MLS Salary Cap Management by Tom Worville

This post sets out to use expansion side Orlando City as an example of how value in MLS can be calculated, and how a teams’ management of the salary cap can be scrutinized using a simple visualization.

With the release of the salary cap last week there are a hundred and one things I want to do with this data. The first idea is something that myself and Ben Torvaney thought of when discussing what we would do if we had the salary data of the Premier League and other European leagues if it was available like it is in MLS (fun topic of conversation I know). Evidently, that data is unlikely to ever be released for any of the big leagues, so MLS is the only league these ideas can be applied to.

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