LAFC’s midseason spending spree, which netted five players including Welsh captain Gareth Bale and Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, cost the team $10 million in guaranteed compensation, according to salary figures released by the MLS Players Assn. Monday.
The Galaxy, meanwhile, spent $3.4 million in the summer transfer window on midfielders Gastón Brugman and Riqui Puig and defender Martín Cáceres, who fueled a late-season run that earned the team its first home playoff date since 2016.
The Galaxy won that game to advance to Thursday’s MLS Western Conference semifinals against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium.
The Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, the league’s second-best-paid player behind Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri at the start of the season, saw his guaranteed compensation grow from $6 million to a franchise-record $7.443,750 million after a contract option for next season vested this summer. Yet the Galaxy captain actually dropped a spot in the salary rankings when Lorenzo Insigne joined Toronto in July on a contract that will guarantee him a league-record $14 million a year.
The players’ union salary list includes two numbers for each player, guaranteed compensation and base pay, annualized over the length of a contract. Guaranteed compensation includes bonuses and agent’s fees, which are also spread out over the length of a contract. So if a player signs a two-year deal for $200,000 a season and receives a $50,000 signing bonus, his base pay is $200,000 but his guaranteed compensation is $225,000 per year.
Only the base pay counts against the league’s $4.9-million salary cap.
LAFC, which finished atop the MLS regular-season standings at 21-9-4, guaranteed Chiellini $1.07 million and will pay designated players Denis Bouanga $2.083 million and Cristian Tello $1.725 million, respectively, in addition to re-signing captain Carlos Vela in June for an annual guaranteed salary of $2.738 million.
Bale, meanwhile, will get an annualized base pay of $1.6 million in the first year of a contract that, with options, could last through the 2024 season. The deal has a guaranteed compensation of $2.387 million a year.
The Galaxy (15-12-8 including the playoffs) saw their season turn around in August with the signings of Puig, Brugman and Caceres. Puig’s 3 ½-year contract is for $1.612 million annually with a guaranteed compensation of $1.695 million. Brugman’s guaranteed compensation is $1.409 million a season while Cáceres a three-time World Cup performer for Uruguay, will get $294,400.