The MLS Players’ Association salary release on Thursday didn’t come with much sticker shock for Minnesota United.

That, in part, is due to Loons new Chief Soccer Officer Khaled El-Ahmad being relatively quiet in the offseason, and through the close of the primary transfer window on April 23.

MNUFC player salaries are a combined $14.8 million and sit 23rd in overall spending in the 29-club league, well behind frontrunner Inter Miami ($41.6 million) and superstar Lionel Messi ($20.4 million), according to MLSPA and The Athletic.

Minnesota’s low number gives the Loons’ the flexibility to be active when the summer transfer window opens in July.

Going into the season, MNUFC added nine players, the most expensive being winger and Wayzata native Caden Clark ($382,000), followed by Swedish center back Victor Eriksson ($264,375) and midfielders Moses Nyeman ($168,882) and Alejandro Bran ($125,000).

Among existing Loons players, midfielder Robin Lod received the biggest raise, a hike of $600,000 to $1,639,375 in guaranteed compensation, per MLSPA. That appears fully justified considering the Finnish international has been the Loons’ most valuable player though 11 games this season. The Designated Player has 10 goal contributions (three goals and seven assists) in 10 matches played.

DP striker Teemu Pukki’s $3.5 million did not change from his pro-rated first season in 2023, but his on-field production hasn’t been the same. After averaging 0.87 goals per 90 minutes last season, the Finnish national is averaging 0.29 this season. He hasn’t scored in 420 minutes played since March 9 and has lost his starting spot to 24-year-old sensation Tani Oluwaseyi, a 2022 draft pick who has a team-high five goals on a paltry $81,028 salary, according to MLSPA.

DP midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, who skipped out on the club to stay in Argentina for the season’s first seven weeks, received a $100,000 raise to $2.2 million this season. The Loons could look to offload the MLS all-star this summer; he is under contract through 2025.

After Lod, center back Micky Tapias received the second-biggest raise on the roster, up $225,000 to $811,875, per MLSPA. Outside of a leg injury that cost him three matches, the Mexican national has been a regular on the Loons’ back line again this season.

The majority of the roster received smaller raises, from $70,000 for Kervin Arriaga to less than $5,000. Defensive midfielder Wil Trapp was out of contract after last season and took a $405,000 pay cut to $445,000 this season.

The Loons’ three other offseason additions — Derek Dodson, Alejandro Bran and Carlos Harvey — each make under $90,000. United’s two signed draft picks — Hugo Bacharach and Morris Duggan — both earn less than $73,000.


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