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Colorado Rapids make peanuts compared to Manchester United, AS Roma counterparts

Will the Rapids ever be able to afford a player like Wayne Rooney in his prime?
Will the Rapids ever be able to afford a player like Wayne Rooney in his prime?

Tomorrow, two top-flight European football clubs -- AS Roma (Serie A, Italy) and Manchester United (Premiere League, England) -- square off at Mile High Stadium in the 2014 International Champions Cup.

How would the hometown Colorado Rapids stack up against either of these touring powerhouses? Salary-wise, we know the answer: not well.

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Does higher pay equate to better play? Well, in a round of five exhibition games between MLS and Premiere League teams played last Wednesday, Premiere League teams went 4-0-1 with a combined score of 17-5. The honeymoon period after the World Cup has a lot of us high on soccer, but the Colorado Rapids still have a long way to go before the team can legitimately compete with teams like Man U and Roma.

The Rapids play home games at Dick's Sporting Goods Park, which has a capacity of around 18,000 seats. Compare that to the 70,000+ people expected to attend Saturday's game and it's hard to question the European dominance of professional soccer. Although the Rapids have a solid fan base and 2010 MLS Cup to its credit, the franchise is a financial flea next to professional teams in England and Italy.

Let's look at the team salaries to put it in perspective.

Valued at over $2.8 billion by Forbes, Manchester United is paying over $240,000,000 in salaries during 2014, according to British sporting-news website tsmplug.com.

In contrast, Tsmplug reported AS Roma's total player salary output at a little under $124,000,000. That may look like small potatoes compared to Man U's massive payroll -- but consider the low seven-figure payroll for the 2014 Rapids released by the MLS players association, and it's hard to see the MLS putting together a team that can play with the big kids any time soon.

2014 Rapids Total Base Salary- $3,015,558 (not counting player bonuses)
  • Berner, John -- $36,500
  • Brown, Deshorn -- $75,000
  • Buddle, Edson -- $325,000
  • Burch, Marc -- $85,000
  • Chavez, Marvin -- $200,000
  • Eloundou, Charles -- $48,825
  • Griffiths, Brenton -- $36,500
  • Hairston, Marlon -- $70,000
  • Hill, Kamani -- $48,825
  • Irwin, Clint -- $75,000
  • Klute, Chris -- $75,000
  • LaBrocca, Nick -- $135,000
  • Mari, Jose -- $230,000
  • Moor, Drew -- $235,000
  • Mullan, Brian -- $48,500
  • Mwanga, Danny -- $130,000
  • Nasco, Joe -- $50,000
  • O'Neill, Shane -- $56,250
  • Piermayr, Thomas -- $70,008
  • Powers, Dillon -- $95,150
  • Sanchez, Vincente -- $210,000
  • Serna, Dillon -- $52,500
  • Sturgis, Nathan -- $114,000
  • Torres, Gabriel -- $250,000
  • Van de Casteele, Grant -- $48,500
  • Watts, Jared -- $36,500
  • Wynne, Marvell -- $200,000

Continue to see how poor the Rapids are compared to Man U and Roma.

 

AS Roma is one of Italy's most storied soccer teams and consistently finishes at the top of its league.
AS Roma is one of Italy's most storied soccer teams and consistently finishes at the top of its league.

AS Roma was founded in 1927, almost seventy years before the Rapids were born. The near-seven extra decades has given the club ample time to give themselves much deeper pockets than the Rapids currently have. Check out how much Roma players make per year according to tsmplug.com. By the way, both Man U's and Roma's payroll were reported in Eurodollars and converted.

    AS Roma Payroll

  • Daniele de Rossi -- $8,740,331
  • Francesco Totti -- $6,050,998
  • Maicon -- $4,034,255
  • Kevin Strootman -- $3,092,841
  • Gervinho -- $3,092,841
  • Miralem Pjanic -- $2,823,791
  • Adem Ljajic -- $2,554,859
  • Leandro Castan -- $2,151,575
  • Federico Balzaretti -- $2,017,102
  • Mattia Destro -- $1,748,159
  • Mehdi Benatia -- $1,680,922
  • Morgan De Sanctis -- $1,479,282
  • Vassilios Torosidis -- $1,344,802
  • Rodrigo Taddei -- $1,344,802
  • Marquinho -- $1,344,802
  • Alessandro Florenzi -- $1,143,142
  • Tin Jedvaj -- $874,106
  • Dodo -- $806,867
  • Lukasz Skorupski -- $672,343
  • Julio Sergio -- $470,640
  • Bogdan Lobont -- $470,640
  • Alessio Romagnioli -- $403,421
  • Gianluca Caprari -- $336,184

Edson Buddle, the highest-paid Rapids player at $325,000, doesn't even make as much as Roma's lowest-paid player, Gianluca Caprari. Major League Soccer is beginning to look pretty minor in the grand scheme of fútbol. Continue to see how poor the Rapids are compared to Man U.

 

Manchester United's rabid fanbase helps pay its huge salaries.
Manchester United's rabid fanbase helps pay its huge salaries.

If you thought Roma players were paid handsomely, wait until you see what Manchester United pays its talent. Here's what Manchester United players make according to tsmplug.com:

    Manchester United Payroll

  • Ben Amos -- $884,000
  • Paul Scholes -- $5,304,000
  • Darren Fletcher -- $7,072,000
  • Anders Lindegaard -- $3,536,000
  • Ryan Giggs -- $6,630,000
  • Patrice Evra -- $4,862,000
  • Rio Ferdinand -- $10,166,000
  • Nemanja Vidic -- $7,956,000
  • Juan Mata -- $13,260,000
  • Nick Powell -- $408,000
  • Chris Smalling -- $4,420,000
  • Jonny Evans -- $5,746,000
  • Rafael da Silva -- $3,496,688
  • Michael Carrick -- $6,188,000
  • Ashley Young -- $10,608,000
  • Antonio Valencia -- $7.956,000
  • Nani -- $8,398,000
  • Wilfried Zaha -- $3,094,000
  • Marouane Fellaini -- $5,593,900
  • Adnan Januzaj -- $5,593,900
  • Tom Cleverley -- $3,536,000
  • David de Gea -- $6,188,000
  • Danny Welbeck -- $6,630,000
  • Phil Jones -- $4,420,000
  • Javier Hernandez -- $6,630,000
  • Shinji Kagawa -- $8,398,000
  • Wayne Rooney -- $18,100,000
  • Robin van Persie -- $20,740,000
  • Alexander Buttner -- no longer with team

No, your eyes aren't fucking with you. The Colorado Rapids' entire payroll could only pay for two of Man U's current contracted players. Man U manager Louis Van Gaal's salary of $7,528,753 more than doubles what the Rapids make collectively.

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Dick's Sporting Goods Park

6000 Victory Way
Commerce City, CO 80022-4203

303-727-3500

www.dickssportinggoodspark.com


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