World Cup: Large salary disparity among the six MLS players in South Africa

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There are six active Major League Soccer players taking part in the World Cup. Four are with the U.S. team, one is with New Zealand and one is with Honduras.

All are on an equal footing as far as World Cup status is concerned. The tournament, after all, is the pinnacle for soccer players, and to play in it puts a player on an entirely different plateau, the MLS contingent included.

But it doesn’t mean that all six are equally compensated for their soccer endeavors. Far from it.

When the MLS Players Union this week released its salary figures for 2010, the list showed a vast disparity among the half-dozen. Here is the breakdown:


Landon Donovan: U.S. and Galaxy, $2,127,777.78 (that extra 78 cents makes all the difference).

Edson Buddle: U.S. and Galaxy, $188,448.

Roger Espinoza: Honduras and Kansas City Wizards, $108,750.

Jonathan Bornstein: U.S. and Chivas USA, $100,000.

Robbie Findley: U.S. and Real Salt Lake, $87,316.

Andrew Boyens: New Zealand and New York Red Bulls, $62,005.

The list doesn’t mean much, except that Donovan should probably pick up the tab if he and Boyens head for dinner.

-- Grahame L. Jones in Johannesburg, South Africa