Chicago Fire Player Salaries Updated - MLS Players Union updates their list

So I guess we now know why Cristian Nazarit is smiling so brightly...

The Major League Soccer Players Union has released their end of summer update on players' salaries.  If you have wondered how much Sebastian Grazzini and Pavel Pardo are making, we have the answer and a full update to the Chicago Fire salary picture below.  At least, we kind of/probably do.  Let me explain after the break.

The Raw Numbers

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Team Player Position Base Salary Guaranteed Comp

 

Roster Type Age
1 CHI Mike Banner M $42,000 $42,000 Domestic 26
2 CHI Diego Chaves F $45,000 $45,000 International 25
3 CHI Jon Conway GK $70,000 $79,833 Domestic 34
4 CHI Yamith Cuesta D $72,000 $82,000 International 22
5 CHI Dan Gargan D $70,000 $70,000 Domestic 28
6 CHI Cory Gibbs D $150,000 $150,000 Domestic 31
7 CHI Sebastian Grazzini   F $48,000 $48,000 International 30
8 CHI Baggio Husidic M $82,000 $124,500 Domestic 24
9 CHI Marko Maric M $150,000 $200,000 International 28
10 CHI Josip Mikulic D $110,000 $116,250 International 25
11 CHI Cristian Nazarit F $240,000 $302,500 International 20
12 CHI Patrick Nyarko F $110,000 $190,000 Domestic 25
13 CHI Dominic Oduro F $95,004 $97,004 Domestic 25
14 CHI Daniel Paladini M $75,000 $79,478 Domestic 26
15 CHI Marco Pappa M $120,000 $125,000 International 23
16 CHI Pavel Pardo M $129,996 $159,996 International 35
17 CHI Logan Pause M $176,000 $184,125 Domestic 29
18 CHI Gonzalo Segares D $160,000 $167,750 Domestic 28
19 CHI Michael Videira M $42,000 $42,625 Domestic 25
20 CHI Kwame Watson-Siriboe D $44,000 $44,000 Domestic 24
Total Senior Roster Salary $2,031,500 $2,350,062
21 CHI Jalil Anibaba D $42,000 $82,000 Domestic 22
22 CHI Orr Barouch F $32,600 $32,600 Reserve/Domestic 19
23 CHI Corben Bone M $90,000 $151,200   Generation adidas/Domestic 22
24 CHI Alec Dufty GK $32,600 $32,600 Reserve/Domestic 24
25 CHI Gabriel Ferrari F $70,000 $70,000 Domestic 22
26 CHI Kellen Gulley F $48,000 $62,000 Home Grown/Domestic 17
27 CHI Sean Johnson GK $75,000 $108,000 Generation adidas/Domestic 22
28 CHI Steven Kinney D $42,000 $42,000 Domestic 23
29 CHI Pari Pantazopoulos D $42,000 $42,000 Reserve/Domestic 22
30 CHI Victor Pineda M $42,000 $48,742 Home Grown/Domestic 18

 

The 'Basics'

If you are confused as to why the players are listed like this, it's time to (re)visit the Chicago Fire Roster Construction post.  It breaks down to each MLS team has 20 Senior Roster Spots that count towards the salary budget and 10 Supplemental Roster Spots that don't. This updated list includes the Dasan Robinson for Dan Gargan swap, the Pavel Pardo signing/Bratislav Ristic release, and the signings of Sebastian Grazzini and Kellen Gulley.  It also includes an apparent renegotiation of Cristian Nazarit's contract.

The 'Advanced'

Number one item that should pop out at any Fire fan who has been monitoring the salaries is Nazarit's jump in pay.  Back in May, he was listed at $42,000.  Fast forward to today, and he's the highest paid player on the team pulling down $302,500.  Nazarit's signing and the earlier release of salary numbers from the MLS Players Union were close together.  There's a chance someone was prepping the numbers and said 'just publish it, put down anyone we aren't 100% sure on at the league minimum of $42,000'.  Maybe Nazarit was making $302,500 all along.  I find team writer Jeff Crandall to be an invaluable source on the Chicago Fire and all things Major League Soccer.  At the time of the Gaston Puerari sale, Crandall tweeted this out

RE: Puerari Sale #MLS Salary numbers aren't always what are printed and I think the offer from Atlas was too good to turn down...

MLSPU listed Puerari's salary at $50,000.  Crandall implied it was at least moderately higher than that figure.  Perhaps if Puerari was still with the Fire, his salary would be much higher in this release just like Nazarit's.  We'll never know so let's consider the other possibility outside some weird MLSPU/contract glitch: Nazarit re-negotiated his contract.  

You couldn't blame the front office for the thought here.  Nazarit is 20 years old, scored two goals in the first seven MLS Regular Season games he played in, and even got a blip of praise from Sir Alex Ferguson when Manchester United came to town.  Nazarit's agent calls the Fire front office and says "how would you like to keep Nazarit here for a couple of years?".  Perhaps Frank Klopas made a call himself.  Bottom line is Nazarit has not been all that great recently and it might have coincided with getting a big contract extension.  Sadly 'player gets big money and starts to play poorly' is a story as old as player contracts themselves so Nazarit's work rate needs to be watched closely.  Fire faithful can tell you how much of an anchor Justin Mapp's big contract became to the team in recent years.  The positive spin is Nazarit is still 20 and he does lead the MLS Reserves League in goals.  I wouldn't even rule out the Fire throwing in some extra salary budget funds his way in 2011 in exchange for playing at a lower rate in 2012, 2013, etc.  That would be a shrewd use of resources that would raise Nazarit's value to the club in the future and make him an attractive player on the international transfer market.

The next note of reference is Kellen Gulley showing up here.  When the Chicago Fire announced his signing on August 11, they mentioned Gulley wouldn't be added to the Fire's first team roster until 2012.  The Fire Juniors-Mississippi product doesn't show up on the Chicago Fire's roster page but he shows up here on the MLSPU salary update.  There's no real disadvantage or advantage to the current arrangement, it's just a little odd.

Finally, there's Pardo and Grazzini.  Grazzini and Pardo.  Those two have made Chicago look very threatening and it looks like combined they are making about $100,000 less than Nazarit is making by himself.  Pardo is over $100,000 but Grazzini is looking like even more of a bargain with the low, low price of $48,000.  Time will tell if that's a 'Puerari/Nazarit' $48,000 or something much more straightforward.  There's also nothing preventing Grazzini from re-neogiationg his contract when the season ends too.

Overall, the picture continues to look all right for the Chicago Fire salary budget in 2012.  There could be a problem or two on the horizon but we need more evidence to make a full judgment on individual cases.  

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