MLS salary shock as ex-England starlet named league’s highest-paid defender

Major League Soccer this week released updated salary statistics.

All the big names were accounted for, with the top 10 a veritable who’s who of attacking stars.

Top of the pile was Italian international Sebastian Giovinco, taking home a cool $7.1million. Other names included were David Villa, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Vela, Giovani dos Santos and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

But one thing notable from the updated figures are where the money goes: notably to attacking players.

Tim Howard may be 10th overall, but you have to go down to No.85 to find the next goalkeeper, Atlanta United’s Brad Guzan.

Indeed, of the top 40, all but Howard and one other player are best described as midfielders or attackers.

That other player, coming in at No.38, is ex-Chelsea youngster and winner of 30 England Under-21 caps, Michael Mancienne.

Mancienne, now 30, left Nottingham Forest to join Brad Fridel’s New England Revolution two months ago.

He inked an 18-month deal and is one of only two defenders earning in excess of $1million, taking home $1.28m.

His season will end on Sunday, after the Revs final regular season game, having failed to reach the play-offs.

Mancienne, who has also played for Wolves and Hamburg, declared in August that he couldn’t turn down the chance of a new start in the US.

“It was just an exciting opportunity,” said Mancienne. “It was something that I couldn’t turn down. I had other options in England, but to be honest this was something that was amazing. I think it’s beautiful.

“[Friedel] is a massive name. He’s had a great career. He’s got bundles of experience, so I’m really looking forward to working underneath him, to learning from him and hopefully doing really well for him.”

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