While the Philadelphia Union shattered their transfer fee record to acquire Mikael Uhre and added an important piece to their attack with the loan of Julian Carranza, the bigger news of the offseason might still be the players they were able to keep.
The MLS Players Association updated salary information released on Tuesday underlines that investment the club put back into keeping several key players in the team.
Jack Elliott saw an increase of $453,750 in guaranteed compensation and his center back partner Jakob Glesnes received an increase of $290,938. They are now the sixth and seventh highest paid players on the roster after negotiating their new contracts in the offseason.
Goalkeeper Andre Blake received an increase of $219,375 to $869,375.00 in guaranteed compensation, which is the second highest amount for a goalkeeper in MLS behind Eloy Room at $883,000.
Uhre is the highest paid player on the team and one of only two players on the roster making north of a $1 million in guaranteed compensation (Alejandro Bedoya is the other). His figure is $1,582,500, which is $106,250 more than Jamiro Monteiro, the designated player he placed on the roster, was guaranteed last season.
The $900,000 in guaranteed compensation Julian Carranza is receiving is $16,250 less than Kacper Przybylko received last season.
Sergio Santos is the third highest player on the roster now after receiving a $190,000 increase in guaranteed compensation, which is now $918,500.
Kai Wagner and Jose Martinez remain among the biggest bargains on the roster. Martinez is the 14th highest paid player on the roster at $251,250 while the guaranteed compensation for one of the best left backs in the league is $581,000.
Daniel Gazdag, who is having an MVP-caliber season, is at $586,250, which is ninth on the team. The Hungary international remains an incredible pickup as a player from Europe who was acquired neither as a designated player or TAM player (a player whose salary is bought down below the DP threshold with targeted allocation money).
While as a team the Philadelphia Union are still getting great value for their salary compensation — they are 19th in total guaranteed compensation among 28 teams in this most recent update — there are two curious expenditures worth mentioning in the salary update.
Matej Oravec, who has never logged a single minute and is on loan in his native Slovakia, is making $314,500 and Gino Portella, a center back who has never officially been announced as a signing to the first or second team squads, is listed at $99,169.
Minus a couple points of debate, it’s hard to see anything but shrewd business in the updated salary numbers for a team that is in the lower tier of the league in terms of spending while enjoying sustained success near the top of the table.
The Union replaced two of their higher earners from last year’s team — Monteiro and Przybylko — with Uhre and Carranza and used the 13 percent increase in total compensation on keeping together a team that led them to within a win of playing for an MLS Cup.