Atlanta United’s payroll decreases markedly

Atlanta United forward Giorgos Giakoumakis (7) celebrates with midfielder Saba Lobzhanidze (9) after scoring the first goal of his team during the first half against the Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, March 31, 2024.
 Miguel Martinez /

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Atlanta United forward Giorgos Giakoumakis (7) celebrates with midfielder Saba Lobzhanidze (9) after scoring the first goal of his team during the first half against the Chicago Fire at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday, March 31, 2024. Miguel Martinez /

Atlanta United’s projected expenses for guaranteed compensation for players decreased by more than $2.5 million from September, according to information released by the Major League Soccer Players Association on Thursday.

Atlanta United is projected to pay $16,663,279 million to the 31 players on its roster, compared with $19,277,184 in September. The per-player average is $537,525.13, compared with $600,850 in September.

The total projected money spent on all players in MLS is $518,902,285, an increase of $16,978,581 from September, with a per-player average of $594,389.79, an increase of $51,182.79 from September.

Giorgos Giakoumakis has moved past Thiago Almada and projects to be Atlanta United’s highest-paid player, with guaranteed compensation of $2,248,417. Almada projects to receive $2,232,000 in guaranteed compensation.

Atlanta United is paying the majority of the salaries of on-loan players Franco Ibarra and Santiago Sosa, and at least half of Derrick Etienne’s salary. He was traded to Toronto earlier this season.

The team’s payroll decreased for several reasons, including that several players signed during last year’s summer window have projected salaries this season that more closely resemble what they actually will make. Last year’s guaranteed compensation estimates released in October for players Saba Lobjanidze and Jamal Thiare were derived from figures prorated across a calendar year.

The MLSPA releases the salary information twice a year.

The annual average guaranteed compensation is for players under contract as of April 25. It includes a player’s base salary and all signing and guaranteed bonuses annualized over the term of the player’s contract, including option years. For example, a player earning an annual base salary of $500,000, whose contract has an initial term of two years with two one-year options and received a $100,000 signing bonus, has an average annual guaranteed compensation of $525,000 (base salary plus signing bonus ($100,000), with the signing bonus divided by the number of years covered by the contract (four).

The average annual guaranteed compensation figure also includes any marketing bonus and any agent’s fees, both annualized over the length of the contract. The figure does not include performance bonuses because there is no guarantee that the player will hit those bonuses. These figures include compensation from each player’s contract with MLS. They do not include any compensation from any contracts with individual teams or their affiliates.

Player/Base salary/Guaranteed compensation/Increase (or decrease) from Sept. 23/Year guaranteed contract runs out/Option years

Giorgios Giakoumakis/1,664,600/2,248,417/87,964/2025/2026

Thiago Almada/1,550,000/2,232,000/(100,000)/2026/None

Stian Gregersen/1,000,000/1,120,000/NA/2027/2028

Saba Lobjanidze/900,000/998,750/(1,152,000)/2026/None

Luis Abram/732,275/871,888/175,911/2025/2026

Bartosz Slisz/630,000/830,000/NA/2028/None

Santiago Sosa/685,000/778,100/85,0000/2024/2025

Brooks Lennon/740,000/740,000/40,000/2025/2026

Derrick Etienne Jr./710,062/710,062/33,818/2025/2027^

Franco Ibarra/600,000/660,000/40,000//2024/2025*

Brad Guzan/600,000/612,500/0/2024/2025

Xande Silva/560,000/604,250/79,750/2025/2026

Jamal Thiare/500,000/595,000/(477,679)/2024/2025

Tristan Muyumba/525,000/566,600/75,000/2026/2027

Ronald Hernández/450,000/450,000/75,000/2024/2025

Derrick Williams/400,000/447,500/NA/2025/2026

Edwin Mosquera/400,000/437,000/25,000/2026/None

Josh Cohen/265,000/303,500/NA/2025/2026

Dax McCarty/225,000/256,200/NA/2024/2025

Tyler Wolff/150,000/154,500/30,000/2024/2025

Caleb Wiley/150,000/151,600/64,556/2025/2026

Daniel Rios/$89,716/126,383/NA/2024/None

Quentin Westberg/89,716/109,716/(90,284)/2024/None

Efraín Morales/89,716/97,735/12,291/2024/2026

Erik Centeno/89,716/96,492/17,356/2024/2026

Aiden McFadden/89,716/89,716/4,272/2024*/None

Noah Cobb/89,716/89,716/22,356/2026/2027

Nic Firmino/71,401/71,401/NA/2024/2026

Luke Brennan/71,401/71,401/NA/2027/2028

Ajani Fortune/71,401/71,401/4,041/2024/2026

Adyn Torres/71,401,71,401/NA/2027/2028

* On loan and not on Atlanta United’s first team in May

^ Sold with Atlanta United team paying portion of the salary

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