Orlando City's Kaka again tops list of biggest salaries in MLS
Orlando City star Kaka again tops the list of highest-paid players in Major League Soccer at $7.167 million in total compensation.
Kaka only makes about $52,000 more than the second-highest paid player, reigning MVP Sebastian Giovinco.
Those two players will make more this season than the entire rosters of 14 of the 20 MLS teams.
New York City's Andrea Pirlo was the only new addition to the top 10, according to figures for 2016 salaries released by the MLS Players Union.
For his first full season in the league, Pirlo's $5.9 million in total compensation is an increase of $3.6 million from last year, when he joined NYCFC in July.
Designated players on three teams dominate the top of the list -- Toronto FC, NYCFC and the L.A. Galaxy -- while six teams do not pay any one player $1 million or more: FC Dallas, D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City, the New York Red Bulls, and the Philadelphia Union.
Giovinco is one of three Toronto FC players in the top 10, along with Michael Bradley (third at $6.5 million) and Jozy Altidore (eighth at $4.8 million).
NYCFC's Frank Lampard is fourth at $6 milion, Pirlo is fifth and David Villa sixth at $5.61 million.
The Galaxy are paying Steven Gerrard $6.1 million, a slight decrease from last season, making him the fourth-highest paid player, while Giovani Dos Santos is 10th on the list at $4.25 million and Robbie Keane 11th at $3.5 million.
Tim Howard is the best-paid new addition to this season. The U.S. goalkeeper won't join the Colorado Rapids until July, when he will pocket $2.575 million.
That's more than 18 times what the Rapids are paying their current keeper, Zac MacMath.
In a preseason poll conducted by ESPN FC, 84 percent of players asked said MLS players are not paid fairly.
"I think it's just hard to say that it's fair when you can be making $60,000 and a guy on your team is making $8 million," one player said. "You don't see gaps like that in other leagues."
Among players who signed designated player deals before this season, Colorado's Shkelzen Gashi makes the most at $1.67 million, followed by Kei Kamara -- recently traded to the New England Revolution -- at $1 million.
Taking a major pay cut was U.S. international Jermaine Jones, who had difficulty finding a team while facing a lengthy suspension to start the season.
He made over $3 million last season with New England but will pull in just $650,000 this year with Colorado.
Seattle Sounders rookie Jordan Morris makes $190,500 on his homegrown contract, $30,000 more than the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, Jack Harrison of NYCFC.