When Italian club AS Roma defeated the Major League Soccer All-Stars on Wednesday night at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., the difference between the teams on the scoreboard was almost exactly proportional to the disparity in their annual compensation.
Roma won 3-1 and fielded a starting lineup of players that earn $2.94 in combined annual salary for every $1 the MLS starters earn annually. Roma’s starting lineup Wednesday made a combined $24.4 million in the 2012-13 season, according to data from La Gazzetta della Sport. The starters for the MLS All-Stars, on the other hand, are making $8.3 million in 2013, according to the MLS Players Union.
Of Roma’s starters for the All-Star Game, veteran captain Francesco Totti was the highest earner, with a salary of more than $6.6 million in 2012-13. Star midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who was not in the starting lineup, earned a team-high $7.97 million in the 2012-13 season.
New York Red Bulls star Thierry Henry makes the most money of Wednesday’s MLS starters — and of anyone in the league, for that matter. The three-time MLS All-Star is making $4.35 million in 2013. Henry is one of eight players in MLS making more than $1 million this year. Five of those eight were voted into the game, including Henry, Tim Cahill, Robbie Keane, Landon Donavon and Marco Di Vaio.
Nine players in Roma’s staring lineup and 18 on the roster overall made at least $1 million last season.