The Highest-Paid Player In Major League Soccer Has Never Played A Game In The League

Kaka celebrates a goal with his current club in Brazil. Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Former FIFA World Player of the Year Kaká is the new highest-paid player in Major League Soccer and will make $US7.2 million this season. The kicker: he has never played in MLS and his team isn’t even in the league yet.

Kaká is the first major signing for Orlando City S.C., a club currently playing in the USL Pro league, the third level of North American professional soccer. Orlando City has been named as an expansion franchise for Major League Soccer, but will not join the top division until 2015.

In the meantime, Kaká is on loan to São Paulo F.C. in Brazil’s top division, the same team he began his professional career with in 2001 before eventually moving on to a decorated career with AC Milan and Real Madrid. São Paulo will pay a portion of the Brazilian’s salary while he competes for their side.

In all, 15 players in MLS will make at least $US1.0 million this season, up from nine in 2013. Here is the top ten:

    1. Kaká, Orlando City — $7.2 million
    2. Clint Dempsey, Seattle Sounders — $6.7 million
    3. Michael Bradley, Toronto FC — $6.5 million
    4. Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC — $6.2 million
    5. Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy — $4.6 million
    6. Thierry Henry, N.Y. Red Bulls — $4.4 million
    7. Robbie Keane, L.A. Galaxy — $4.5 million
    8. Tim Cahill, N.Y. Red Bulls — $3.6 million
    9. Jermaine Jones, New England Revolution — $3.3 million
    10. Marco Di Vaio, Montreal Impact— $2.6 million