(Reuters) - Brazilian veteran Kaka is the highest paid player in Major League Soccer, with a 2016 guaranteed salary of $7.167 million, according to figures released by the Players’ Union on Thursday.
Orlando City’s Kaka tops the list for the second successive year. Toronto’s Italian striker Sebastian Giovinco is the second highest paid player on $7.115 million.
Major League Soccer has a salary cap of $3.66 million for each of the 20 teams in the league but are allowed three “designated players” who do not count towards the cap and can be paid whatever the club can afford.
Salaries in the league can be wildly lopsided, with many players earning the minimum of $62,500. The maximum salary for any one player is $457,500, according to the MLS website.
American national team captain Michael Bradley is the highest paid local player at third on the list with a $6.5 million salary from Toronto, followed by former England midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
Former Chelsea player Lampard is paid $6.0 million by New York City FC though he has not played this season due to a calf injury.
Also in the top 10 is Toronto’s American striker Jozy Altidore, the former Sunderland player who has not scored a goal this season.
Kaka (Orlando City) - $7.167 million
Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC) - $7.115 million
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) - $6.5 million
Steven Gerrard (Los Angles Galaxy) - $6.132 million
Frank Lampard (New York City FC) - $6.0 million
David Villa (New York City FC) - $5.610 million
Andrea Pirlo (New York City FC) - $5.915 million
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC) - $4.825 million
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders) - $4.605 million
Giovani Dos Santos (Los Angeles Galaxy) -$4.25 million
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury