AUSTIN, TX – APRIL 27: Austin FC forward Sebastián Driussi (10) slaps his hands together as he watches a replay of his missed shot on the big screen during the MLS match between Austin FC and LA Galaxy on April 27, 2024, at Q2 Stadium in Austin, TX. (Photo by David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC captain Sebastian Driussi got a big raise this season according to salary data released Thursday by the Major League Soccer Players Association.

Driussi is set to make a base salary of $4.5 million in 2024 with guaranteed compensation of just more than $6.7 million, $700,000 more than he did last season. His guaranteed money is the highest on the team and fifth-highest in MLS, yet pales in comparison to the league’s highest-paid player, Inter Miami’s Lionel Messi. The international superstar and MLS leading assist man will make $20.4 million — higher than the entire payroll of every MLS team except Chicago and Toronto. Austin’s payroll is just over $18 million, shaving almost $2 million off of last season’s.

Austin FC has a new $1 million man in reserve forward Gyasi Zardes. He made $800,000 in the first year of his three-year contract last season and now his base salary is an even $1 million, making him the fourth Verde player with a seven-figure contract. Emiliano Rigoni makes $1.6 million while Alex Ring’s base pay is just over $1.5 million.

Austin FC sporting director Rodolfo Borrell spent a little more than $1.2 million on four free-agent signings just before the season began. Winger Jader Obrian signed for $495,000 in base pay while forward Diego Rubio signed for $350,000. Defender Guilherme Biro signed for $200,000 and Brandon Hines-Ike is making $199,992.

Coming off a 1-0 win over Houston at home Wednesday, Austin FC (5-4-4, 19 points) is sixth place in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Vancouver and two behind four teams tied for second. Minnesota, LAFC, Colorado and the LA Galaxy all have 21 points. Verde is back in action against Sporting Kansas City at Q2 Stadium on Saturday.


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