Major League Soccer

The 20 highest earners in Major League Soccer in 2021

Lizzy Becherano
Los Angeles Galaxy player Javier Hernandez among the highest-paid MLS players in 2021
Los Angeles Galaxy player Javier Hernandez among the highest-paid MLS players in 2021 / Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/GettyImages

The MLS Players Union has released the salaries of every member of the league, with Chicharito, Gonzalo Higuain and Carlos Vela leading the list. 

The LAFC forward stands as the highest-paid player in Major League Soccer at the moment, earning $6.3m a year. While Vela’s had an injury-riddled 2021 season, he has recorded 57 goals and 34 assists in 76 games for Bob Bradley’s side. 

Chicharito is a close second on the list, bringing in $6m this season alone. He leads the Galaxy in goals with 13 in 18 league appearances so far. 

Another designated player takes third place, with Higuain earning nearly $5.8m under Phil Neville. The former Juventus striker has yet to make an impact on his team as they look to miss out on the 2021 MLS playoffs. 

There are currently 81 players in the American league that make seven figures or more, up by nine since the 2020 season. While Jozy Altidore is no longer in the top three of the overall list, he remains the highest-paid American for another season with around $3.6m.

Inter Miami and Atlanta United are the two teams with multiple players on the highest-earning list, with two each making more than $3m this season.

On the other end of the list, DJ Taylor, Ifunanyachi Achara, and Josh Atencio are some surprising figures making less than $100,000 during the 2021 campaign.

The top 20 highest paid players in MLS in 2021

1. Carlos Vela, LAFC, $6,300,000.00
2. Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, LA Galaxy, $6,000,000.00
3. Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami FC, $5,793,750.00
4. Alejandro Pozuelo, Toronto FC, $4,693,000.00
5. Luiz Araujo, Atlanta United, $3,941,67.00
6. Josef Martinez, Atlanta United, $3,891,667.00
7. Jozy Altidore, Toronto FC, $3,602,250.00
8. Rodolfo Pizarro, Inter Miami Rodolfo, $3,350,000.00
9. Maxi Moralez New York City FC, $3,285,000.00
10. Victor Wanyama, CF Montreal, $3,091,667.00
11. Carles Gil, New England Revolution, $3,045,833.00
12. Franco Jara, FC Dallas, $2,977,000.00
13. Nicolas Lodeiro, Seattle Sounders FC, $2,736,667.00
14. Robert Beric, Chicago Fire, $2,703,164.00
15. Sebastian Driussi, Austin FC, $2,688,420.00
16. Adrien Hunou, Minnesota United, $2,587,702.00
17. Luis Nani, Orlando City, $2,486,250.00
18. Gaston Gimenez, Chicago Fire, $2,358,667.00
19. Ezequiel Barco, Atlanta United, $2,358,333.00
20. Albert Rusnak, Real Salt Lake, $2,351,667.00