Kaka 1st to top US$7 mil. in MLS earnings


NEW YORK — Kaka is Major League Soccer’s highest-paid player.

The Brazilian attacker is earning a base salary of US$6.6 million from Orlando City, according to figures released Monday by the MLS Players Union. Including a prorated share of compensation not specified to a specific year, his total earnings rise to a league-record US$7,167,500.

Orlando starts play next season, along with New York City FC, and Kaka is on loan to Sao Paulo in Brazil. The previous MLS high for total earnings was set by David Beckham of the Los Angeles Galaxy at US$6.5 million annually during a five-year contract that ended in 2011.

David Villa’s salary with NYCFC is listed as US$60,000, which would be unusually low. NYCFC teammate Frank Lampard, on loan to Manchester City, is not included on the list.

Seattle forward Clint Dempsey dropped to second in total earnings at US$6,695,000, followed by Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley at US$6.5 million and Toronto forward Jermain Defoe at US$6.18 million.

Among the American players who signed with MLS after the World Cup, midfielder Jermaine Jones has a US$3 million salary with New England and total earnings of US$3,252,500. Midfielder-defender DaMarcus Beasley has a US$750,000 salary with Houston and total earnings of US$779,167.

Kansas City gave new deals to a pair of U.S. national team players: defender Matt Besler (US$600,000; US$633,250) and midfielder Graham Zusi (US$600,000, US$631,389).

Defender Liam Ridgewell, who left West Bromwich Albion to sign with Portland, has a US$1.2 million salary.