Columbus Crew salaries Cucho Hernandez, Jacen Russell-Rowe … – The Columbus Dispatch


After joining the Crew in late June for a franchise-record transfer fee, striker Cucho Hernandez became the team’s second-highest paid player.
The MLS Players Association released updated salary information Monday for the first time since May 17, before Hernandez came to Columbus. It’s known that the transfer fee to acquire Hernandez from recently relegated Watford in the English Premier League was between $10 and $10.5 million, but his salary was not made public until Monday’s release.
With a base salary of $2.6 million and a guaranteed compensation of $2,886,000, Hernandez is behind only Lucas Zelarayan on the Crew’s salary list. In the first salary release of the year, Zelarayan’s $3.1 million base salary and $3.7 million guaranteed compensation made him the ninth-highest paid player in MLS. After several high-priced midseason acquisitions, most notably Lorenzo Insigne and Federico Bernardeschi in Toronto, Zelarayan is now the 13th-highest paid player and Hernandez ranks 20th.
Because Hernandez is 23 years old, he is considered a young designated player, which means his salary budget charge is just $150,000 — well below the regular designated player charge of $612,500. Next season, Hernandez’s salary budget charge will increase to the maximum as he ages out of the young designated player designation.
Hernandez scored eight goals in his first eight games with the Crew, just the fifth player in MLS history to score eight or more goals in his first eight appearances. He finished the season with nine goals and three assists in 16 games. Zelarayan led the Crew with 10 goals and 12 assists in 29 games.
Monday’s release also shed light on the salaries for Jacen Russell-Rowe and Mo Farsi, who became the first two players from Crew 2 to sign senior team contracts when they signed in the summer. Russell-Rowe is signed through 2024 with options for 2025 and 2026, while Farsi is signed through 2023 with options for 2024 and 2025.
Russell-Rowe played 227 minutes across six games with the Crew and recorded two assists. Farsi made seven appearances and tallied one assist in just 79 total minutes.
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Both players have a base salary of $65,500, the reserve minimum salary, though Farsi has a slightly higher guaranteed compensation at $75,333 to Russell-Rowe’s $72,866. Guaranteed compensation takes into account a variety of factors above the base salary, including agent’s fees, marketing bonuses and signing bonuses, averaged over the length of the contract.
As explained by the MLSPA, “A player earning an annual base salary of $500,000, whose contract has an initial term of two years with two one-year options and received a $100,000 signing bonus, his average annual guaranteed compensation would be $525,000.”
Performance bonuses are not included in guaranteed compensation because there is no certainty that the player will achieve the bonus.
The released salary figures reflect the data as of Sept. 2, the date at which rosters were frozen for the remainder of the 2022 season.


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