Bastian Schweinsteiger Straight in at #7 as MLS Releases Annual List of Player Salaries For 2017

One of the most transparent leagues in the world, Major League Soccer has once more released the annual salary information for every player registered in 2017, revealing just how much money is on offer to those playing at North America's highest level. Given the nature of the salary cap and 'Designated Player' rules, salaries in the same dressing room can range from millions of dollars per year to just $50,000. Even big names might not necessarily earn huge sums - Ashley Cole will earn less...

Maxi Moralez - $2m (New York City)

Argentine 'number 10' Maxi Moralez is New York City's latest big acquisition after joining from Leon in Mexico prior to the 2017 campaign.

Now 30 years of age, he spent four and a half seasons with Atalanta in Italy before returning to Latin America. He's also had an unsuccessful and very brief stint with FC Moscow in 2007.

Miguel Almiron - $2.297m (Atlanta United)

New to America in 2017, Paraguay international Miguel Almiron signed with expansion franchise Atlanta United in December ahead of their inaugural MLS season.

Venezuelan forward Josef Martinez is the only other player in the squad who will take home in excess of $1m this season.

Tim Howard - $2.475m (Colorado Rapids)

Tim Howard is the highest paid goalkeeper currently plying his trade in the league following his return home from Premier League side Everton in the summer of 2016.

This is the first full MLS season that the wonderfully dubbed 'US Secretary of Defense' has played in 15 years after he left the now defunct NY/NJ MetroStars for Manchester United midway through the 2003 campaign.

Diego Valeri - $2.607m (Portland Timbers)

Argentine midfielder Diego Valeri is the highest paid player on the Portland Timbers roster in 2017. He has been with the team since 2013 and was an MLS Cup champion in 2015, as well as a former 'Newcomer of the Year' award winner.

Former Aston Villa, Birmingham and West Brom defender Liam Ridgewell is also still with the Timbers after first heading stateside in 2014 and will earn $615,000 this season.

Clint Dempsey - $3.892m (Seattle Sounders)

Seattle actually managed to win the 2016 MLS Cup without Clint Dempsey after their star man was ruled out for the season as a result of injury in September.

Although he was ultimately still part of triumphant winning squad, it was still a cruel blow for the 34-year-old who had previously twice been a runner-up with New England Revolution at the start of his career.

Jozy Altidore - $4.875m (Toronto FC)

Premier League fans aware of Jozy Altidore's pitiful return of just two goals in 70 games for Hull and Sunderland may find it unfairly hilarious that the American front-man is so well paid and highly thought of in MLS terms.

But it was his goals in every round of the playoffs that drove Toronto to a first MLS Cup appearance last year, with the Canadian franchise only falling at the final hurdle.

Bastian Schweinsteiger - $5.4m (Chicago Fire)

Bastian Schweinsteiger took a vast pay cut to join Chicago Fire from Manchester United last month but is still the seventh highest MLS player in 2017.

Chicago have finished bottom of the Eastern Conference in each of the last two seasons and  will hope that Schweinsteiger will bring enough quality to ensure they don't make it a three-peat. Just don't ask him to win the World Cup...

Giovani dos Santos - $5.5m (LA Galaxy)

Stepping into the shoes vacated by Robbie Keane is the task that awaits former Barcelona prodigy Giovani dos Santos now that he has become LA Galaxy's highest paid star.

Having left home at the age of 13 to enter La Masia, the Mexican finally left Europe behind when he moved to LA in 2015. He was an All-Star an twice Player of the Week last year but an MLS Cup has so far remained elusive.

David Villa - $5.610m (New York City)

David Villa has been very much at home in the sky blue of New York City since joining the club ahead of the 2015 season and was named league MVP last year.

The Spaniard has already scored five times in seven MLS games in 2017 and will be hoping he can help his team to finally finish above local rivals New York Red Bulls in the regular season for the first time.

Andrea Pirlo - $5.915m (New York City)

Joining Villa in the Big Apple as one of the highest paid MLS players again in 2017 is Italian cult figure Andrea Pirlo, still going strong despite being due to celebrate his 38th birthday next month.

Pirlo has won every club trophy going in Europe, as well as the 2006 World Cup with Italy, but one final triumph in America would be the perfect way to cap an incredible career.

Michael Bradley - $6.5m (Toronto FC)

Michael Bradley enjoyed a much better 2016 than his father, Bob, who was sacked by Swansea City in December after only 85 days in charge, when he captained Toronto FC to the playoffs and onto the MLS Cup.

The 29-year-old midfielder, who also serves as captain of the United States national side, is the highest paid domestic player and has been for the last few seasons.

Sebastian Giovinco - $7.115m (Toronto FC)

Eyebrows were raised when Sebastian Giovinco quit Juventus in 2015 and joined Toronto, but the Italian magician has been a huge hit in North America and has helped raise the quality of the league no end.

One of just two players on more than $7m in 2017, Giovinco didn't manage back-to-back MVP awards after being overlooked last season, but has set goalscoring and assist records.

Kaka - $7.167m (Orlando City)

For the third straight season, Kaka is the highest paid MLS player with his 'guaranteed compensation' once more exceeding that of any other.

But since the former Ballon d'Or winner arrived and Orlando officially entered the league for the first time in 2015, the Florida franchise has so far failed to even make the playoffs.

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