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Vako still San Jose Earthquakes’ only millionaire, Wondolowski runner-up with $800,000

Sep 27, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Earthquakes forward Valeri Qazaishvili (11) and forward Chris Wondolowski (8) walk together after scoring a goal against the Chicago Fire in the second half at Avaya Stadium. (Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports)

The Major League Soccer Players Association released the salaries of all the league’s players Thursday, and the top two names on the list for the San Jose Earthquakes remain the same.

Valeri “Vako” Qazaishvili earns the most in guaranteed compensation on the team, with an average annual number of $1,454,042.36. Vako is the only player earning above $1 million, as second-place earner Chris Wondolowski nets $800,000 per year — unchanged from last season. Both Designated Players earn considerably more than the rest of their teammates.

Behind the top two are a number of players with salaries above the DP threshold of $504,375, but their salary cap hits were bought down with a combination of Targeted Allocation Money and discretionary TAM. Florian Jungwirth ($566,671.07), Jahmir Hyka ($539,996.00) and Danny Hoesen ($518,000.00) all fall into that category.

The Quakes’ third DP is Swedish midfielder Magnus Eriksson, whose salary comes in at $399,999.96. It was reported at the time of his signing that San Jose paid a transfer fee in excess of $1 million. His smaller guaranteed compensation could mean that he will count as a DP for this season only, freeing up a slot for a future big-money signing.

San Jose’s total outlay, according to the MLSPA numbers, is $7,787,252.57, which places it 18th out of 23 MLS teams. The total amount is slightly less than what was reported last year, when the Earthquakes’ player payroll was $8,444,246.12. 

One of the biggest movers on the list is midfielder Anibal Godoy, who is earning $473,125 this season, sixth highest on the squad, after signing a new contract in the offseason that boosted his salary from last year’s $256,242.. Newcomer Yeferson Quintana, on a one-year loan with an option to buy from Uruguayan club Penarol, will earn $341,250 in 2018.

>> Check out Pro Soccer USA’s full searchable, sortable database of MLS player salaries.

Overall, the league is spending $249,608,265.28 in guaranteed compensation on 669 players, both highs for MLS in its 23-year history. That number was bolstered by the addition of Los Angeles FC as an expansion club this season. LAFC has made a splash of cash in its first year, coming in at fifth overall in guaranteed compensation. The Earthquakes’ other LA rival, the Galaxy, claim the No. 2 spot, well behind the runaway league leaders and defending MLS Cup champions Toronto FC.

San Jose Earthquakes top-ten guaranteed compensation leaders (2018)

1) Vako $1,454,042.36
2) Chris Wondolowski $800,000.00
3) Florian Jungwirth $566,671.07
4) Jahmir Hyka $539,996.00
5) Danny Hoesen $518,000.00
6) Anibal Godoy $473,125.04
7) Magnus Eriksson $399,999.96
8) Yeferson Quintana $341,250.00
9) Harold Cummings $300,662.67
10) Quincy Amarikwa $289,166.67

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