It came a bit later in the season than normal, but the MLS Players Association released salary information for every player in the league on Monday. The drop confirmed that midseason Toronto FC signing Lorenzo Insigne is the highest-paid player in league history, with a staggering guaranteed compensation of $14 million per year.
The Italy international pulls in $5.85 million more than previous record-holder Chicago Fire attacker Xherdan Shaqiri, whose $8.15 million salary now ranks second in the league. It’s important to note that these numbers are calculated as the average annual value of a player’s full contract, including option years. Insigne, for example, didn’t actually earn $14 million from TFC in 2022; the total payment on his four-year contract just averages out to that amount per calendar year.
Still, Insigne’s guaranteed compensation as listed in the release was greater than the entire 2022 first-team payroll for nine teams: Montreal, Orlando, Charlotte, Portland, Minnesota, San Jose, Colorado, Philadelphia and the New York Red Bulls. Five of those nine teams made the playoffs, with Philadelphia and Montreal finishing the regular season as the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference.
Insigne wasn’t the only high-profile Italian to join Toronto FC this summer, as Federico Bernardeschi also signed with the Canadian club in the secondary transfer window. Bernardeschi isn’t making nearly as much as Insigne, but his guaranteed compensation of $6.26 million still ranks fourth in the league.
Insigne and Bernadeschi’s combined guaranteed compensation of $20.26 million was more than the entire 2022 first-team payroll for every team except three: the LA Galaxy, Inter Miami and Atlanta United. Toronto, which led the league with a final 2022 guaranteed compensation of $32.2 million, finished the regular season second-to-last in MLS.