The MLS players union released salary details of all its members last week as part of its bid to highlight the disparity between the haves and have-nots in the league.
David Beckham is the top earner, with a base salary of $5.5 million, but 50 players are still making the basic $12,900 minimum.
Here's a look at the 10 most out-of-sync salaries in MLS, from the greatest bargains to the handful of players who have struggled to justify their wages.
English Premier League team Aston Villa thought highly enough of Guzan to try to sign him in the offseason, but were denied by British work permit officials. If that move had gone through, he would have earned his annual MLS salary each month. To his credit, he has gone right back to work for Chivas. Last season's most outstanding goalkeeper in MLS, Guzan has a bright future with the U.S. national team and overseas.
Altidore has more potential than any other U.S. player, Freddy Adu included. He is attracting serious attention from some of Europe's biggest clubs. He always seems to save his best performances for the big occasion, like when he scored twice in the Red Bulls' dramatic 5-4 win over Beckham and the Galaxy in front of 66,000 at Giants Stadium. MLS fans should enjoy him while they can.
Xavier was written off by critics after a disastrous performance in the season opener in Colorado. His career isn't finished, but he doesn't have the feet to be effective against the league's quicker attacking players. Younger and speedier prospects are available for far less money.
DiRaimondo signaled his intentions with a brilliant start to the campaign after being drafted into the starting lineup against the Galaxy. He followed up with a goal against Kansas City, and at 22, he looks poised for a solid future in the heart of the Rapids' midfield.
5. Stuart Holden, Houston Dynamo – $33,075 (underpaid).
Houston's deep roster and coach Dominic Kinnear's sensible decision to allow him to develop gradually have restricted Holden's playing time over the last couple of seasons, but he now looks ready for a breakthrough. U.S. coach Bob Bradley already rates him highly and he is an important part of the under-23 Olympic team.
6. Claudio Reyna, New York Red Bulls – $1,015,000 (overpaid).
Reyna's spot on this list is not entirely his fault. The artificial turf at Giants Stadium doesn't favor his game or his knees, and it reduces his effectiveness. He is still a good player and can help the Red Bulls under Juan Carlos Osorio, but a million bucks (even though only $400,000 counts towards the salary cap) could be better spent elsewhere.
Deuchar, the Scottish doctor who joined RSL at the start of the season, is a proven scorer who could have a big impact once he becomes fully acclimatized to MLS. His salary is low for a British import as the Utah club has landed itself a bargain.
8. Conor Casey, Colorado Rapids – $190,008 (overpaid).
It is not Casey's fault that he got injured, ruling him out of the end of last season and the start of this one. But his two goals in 17 games since returning from a long stint in Germany do not live up to his big payday.
9. Robbie Findley, Real Salt Lake – $47,100 (underpaid).
Findley is an exciting young talent and it would be no surprise to see him have a long career with the senior national team. He was traded from the Galaxy last year as part of the Chris Klein deal, and it is beginning to look like a great piece of business.
It seems harsh to put Cannon in the overpaid category as he is a solid performer and adds some much needed experience to a young San Jose organization. However, there are so many good North American goalkeepers knocking around that it is hard to justify using up so much cash on one, especially when compared to Guzan's salary.
- New York Red Bulls