LAFC’s push for MLS Cup title comes with a $10-million price tag

LAFC’s mid-season spending spree that five players, including Wales captain Gareth Bale and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini, cost the team $10 million in guaranteed compensation, according to payroll figures released by the MLS Players Assn. Monday.

The Galaxy, meanwhile, spent $3.4 million on midfielders Gastón Brugman and Riqui Puig and defender Martín Cáceres during the summer transfer window, fueling a late-season run that gave the team its first playoff home date since 2016.

The Galaxy won that game to advance to the MLS Western Conference semifinals against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium on Thursday.

The Galaxy’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, the second-highest-paid player in the league at the start of the season behind Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri, saw his guaranteed compensation after a contract option for the next from $6 million to a franchise-record $7,443,750 million Dollars rise season vesting this summer. But the Galaxy captain actually dropped a spot in the payroll when Lorenzo Insigne joined Toronto in July on a deal that guarantees him a league-record $14 million a year.

The players’ union payroll contains two figures for each player, a guaranteed pay and a base pay, which are annualized over the contract period. The guaranteed remuneration includes bonuses and brokerage fees, which are also distributed over the contract period. So if a player signs a two-year contract for $200,000 per season and receives a $50,000 signing bonus, their base salary is $200,000 but their guaranteed compensation is $225,000 per year.

Only base salary counts toward the league’s $4.9 million salary cap.

LAFC, who led the MLS regular season 21-9-4, guaranteed Chiellini $1.07 million and will pay designated players Denis Bouanga $2.083 million and Cristian Tello $1.725 million, in addition to the Re-signed Captain Carlos Vela in June for a guaranteed annual salary of $2.738 million.

Bale, meanwhile, is getting a $1.6 million annual base salary in the first year of a deal that could last through the 2024 season with options. The deal provides guaranteed compensation of $2.387 million per year.

The Galaxy (15-12-8 including playoffs) saw a turning point in the season in August with the signings of Puig, Brugman and Caceres. Puig’s 3 ½ year contract is worth $1.612 million per year with guaranteed compensation of $1.695 million. Brugman’s guaranteed compensation is $1.409 million per season, while Cáceres, three-time world champions for Uruguay, will receive $294,400. LAFC’s push for MLS Cup title comes with a $10-million price tag

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