Los Angeles Soccer: Chris Seitz
Major League Soccer's salary list, which the Players Union released Friday, reveals that nearly everyone in the league received a raise of some sort this year, most of them a mild step-up of a few thousand dollars, a few getting more considerable reward.
Among players bred or educated in the L.A.-area, one of the biggest jumps occurred at the top: Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, the best-paid American in MLS, saw his salary jump 100 grand -- from $2.3 million to $2.4 million. Donovan, who is from Redlands (Redlands East Valley HS), is the league's fifth-highest-paid player.
Bruising forward Steven Lenhart (Yorba Linda/Esperanza HS and Azusa Pacific University), who is so key to San Jose's success, picked up a bigger raise, some 400 percent, when he signed a contract extension last November. He made $45,000 in base salary last season and is making $180,000 this year.
Also improving by six figures: Galaxy defender Sean Franklin (Palmdale/Highland HS and Cal State Northridge), from a little more than $97K to $205K, and Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy (Yorba Linda/El Dorado HS and UC Santa Barbara), from about $62,500 to $175K.
New England's Benny Feilhaber (Irvine/Northwood HS and UCLA), whose contract mechanics led Chivas USA to decline his services when he showed up on the allocation list last year and the club had first dibs, also received a $100,000 raise, to $400,000 in base salary.
The only local players whose salaries declined were New England goalkeeper Matt Reis (Mission Viejo/Santa Margarita Catholic HS and UCLA), who dropped about $30K to $157,000 base salary; Vancouver midfielder John Thorrington (Palos Verdes Estates/Chadwick School), whose $170,000 is a cut of almost $25K; and FC Dallas backup goalkeeper Chris Seitz (Thousand Oaks/Thousand Oaks HS), who dipped from $100,000 to $75,000.
Here is the full list of salaries for local players, those who grew up or attended high school or college in the greater L.A. area. Also included is Portland Timbers forward Bright Dike, who is playing on loan with the third-division L.A. Blues. The first figure is base salary and the figure in parentheses is average guaranteed compensation):
The Galaxy made a big splash in the second phase of Major League Soccer's re-entry draft Wednesday, taking New York Red Bulls striker Juan Pablo Angel -- arguably the finest target forward ever to play in the league -- after making a trade with Houston to move up to fourth in the draft.
The 35-year-old Colombian, who joined the Red Bulls when Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was in charge in New York, has scored 61 goals in four seasons for New York.
His contract, for $1.62 million (with $1.918 million guaranteed compensation), was not renewed, and the Galaxy will be able to negotiate a new pact with the tall striker.
“In the re-entry draft, all teams are doing is acquiring rights to players,” Arena said on a teleconference Wednesday afternoon. “There's still a negotiating period to see if we can reach an agreement. … We think he's a very fine forward, and we're hopeful we can reach an agreement. …
“The reason we took him in the re-entry draft is we think we can make it work. I think Juan wants to make it work, but we have to get in some discussions this week and see if we can reach an agreement.”
The Galaxy also selected Red Bulls midfielder Luke Sassano, and Chivas USA took Kansas City central defender Jimmy Conrad (Temple City/Temple City HS and UCLA).
Galaxy midfielder Dema Kovalenko and Chivas USA midfielder Marcelo Saragosa and defender Alex Zotinca weren't drafted and become free agents. So do Colorado midfielder Peter Vagenas (Pasadena/St. Francis HS and UCLA) and Columbus midfielder Duncan Oughton (Cal State Fullerton).
Arena said he has spoken twice with Angel in recent weeks and believes a deal can be made despite the forward's stated desire to remain on the East Coast. If signed, Angel likely would be a Designated Player, which would all but end any chance of L.A. acquiring Brazilian forward Ronaldinho.
The veteran forward wasn't taken in last first stage of the draft -- only two players were selected -- after the Galaxy declined the option on his contract.
Galaxy midfielder Dema Kovalenko and Chivas USA midfielder Marcelo Saragosa and defender Alex Zotinca remain on the list for the second stage.
Kirovski, 34, scored four goals in 21 appearances (with 11 starts) last season and 30 in seven MLS campaigns. The former U.S. national-teamer from Escondido, who emerged from Manchester United's youth academy and played for Germany's Borussia Dortmund and Fortuna Cologne, Portugal's Sporting Lisbon, and England's Crystal Palace and Birmingham City, joined the Galaxy in 2004 and returned to the club last year following four seasons in Colorado.
Also among 32 players available: Colorado midfielder Peter Vagenas (Pasadena/St. Francis HS and UCLA), Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad (Temple City/Temple City HS and UCLA), Philadelphia goalkeeper Chris Seitz (San Luis Obipso/Thousand Oaks HS), and Columbus defender Frankie Hejduk (UCLA) and midfielder Duncan Oughton (Cal State Fullerton).
The first stage of Major League Soccer's re-entry draft took all of four minutes, and only two players were selected. Neither of them have local ties, not really.
D.C. United took former Galaxy forward Joseph Ngwenya -- who has made six moves since leaving L.A. in 2006, from Houston with the top pick Wednesday -- and Columbus grabbed Sporting Kansas City defender Aaron Hohlbein after the eight teams following D.C. passed.
Everybody else passed, D.C. and Columbus made no second-round selections, and the draft, of veteran players either out of contract or with options that had been declined, was over.
What happens now?
The Galaxy are free to negotiate through Monday morning with defensive midfielder Dema Kovalenko and forward/midfielder Jovan Kirovski and Chivas USA with midfielder Marcelo Saragosa and defender Alex Zotinca. If no deal is made, they'll be available in next Wednesday's second stage of the draft. After that, unselected players become free agents.
Five players either from SoCal or who played college soccer here -- Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad (Temple City/Temple City HS and UCLA), Colorado midfielder Peter Vagenas (Pasadena/St. Francis HS and UCLA), Columbus defender Frankie Hejduk (UCLA) and midfielder Duncan Oughton (Cal State Fullerton) and Philadelphia goalkeeper Chris Seitz (San Luis Obipso/Thousand Oaks HS) -- were among 35 players on the list for Wednesday's draft. Only Conrad is out of contract.
Dema Kovalenko, whose fierce approach to defense was pivotal in the Galaxy's run to the Western Conference title game, could be parting ways with L.A.
The club declined the option on the 33-year-old Ukrainian midfielder and can bring him back at a lower salary only if he isn't taken in next week's first stage of Major League Soccer's re-entry draft.
The Galaxy also declined the option on 34-year-old forward/midfielder Jovan Kirovski, and Chivas declined options on midfielder Marcelo Saragosa and 33-year-old Romanian-born defender Alex Zotinca.
Five local-bred players -- Kansas City defender Jimmy Conrad (Temple City/Temple City HS and UCLA), Colorado midfielder Peter Vagenas (Pasadena/St. Francis HS and UCLA), Columbus defender Frankie Hejduk (UCLA) and midfielder Duncan Oughton (Cal State Fullerton) and Philadelphia goalkeeper Chris Seitz (San Luis Obipso/Thousand Oaks HS) -- are among 35 players available in the re-entry draft. All but Seitz are older than 30.
Chivas USA captain Jonathan Bornstein, who is headed in January to his mother's native Mexico to join UANL Tigres, can no longer call himself a Goat.
The U.S. national team defender was a surprise selection by the Portland Timbers in Wednesday's Major League Soccer expansion draft, although he has no plans to head north.
Bornstein (Los Alamitos/Los Alamitos HS and UCLA) was the 15th selection in the draft, through which the Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps, making the leap from the second-tier USSF D2 Pro League to MLS, are building their rosters for next season. Each took 10 players from the existing 16 clubs' unprotected lists.
Chivas USA forward Alan Gordon, who played all or part of seven seasons for the Galaxy before an Aug. 5 trade, was taken by Vancouver with the 10th pick. Chivas USA, allowed to add a 12th player to its protected list following Gordon's selection, took defender Mariano Trujillo off the table.
No Galaxy player was taken in the draft.
Chicago Fire midfielder John Thorrington (Palos Verdes Estates/Chadwick School) was the final selection, taken by Vancouver.
Defender Patrick Ianni (UCLA) was added to Seattle's protected list when Vancouver made Sanna Nyassi its first pick. Goalkeeper Chris Seitz (San Luis Obispo/Thousand Oaks HS) was added to Philadelphia's protected list when Vancouver selected Shea Salinas with the eighth pick.
Bornstein, who played for the U.S. at the World Cup in South Africa, has a four-year contract with Tigres, but Portland would hold his MLS rights indefinitely. If the veteran left back/midfielder were to return to MLS, he would return as a Timber.
Bornstein was a Chivas regular from the moment he arrived in the 2006 draft. Then-Goats coach Bob Bradley converted him from a forward/midfielder to left back, and he rewarded the club with an MLS Rookie of the Year performance. He played a club-record 131 MLS games for Chivas, scoring nine goals with 10 assists.
Gordon, 29, scored once with three assists in nine appearances from the Goats after arriving from the Galaxy. He scored 16 goals with 12 assists in 106 MLS games for L.A.
1. Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), midfielder
2. Eric Brunner (Columbus), defender
3. Adam Moffat (Columbus), midfielder
4. Anthony Wallace (Colorado), defender
5. David Horst (Real Salt Lake), defender
6. Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), forward
7. Peter Lowry (Chicago), midfielder
8. Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), defender/midfielder
9. Jordan Graye (D.C. United), defender
10. Arturo Alvarez (San Jose), forward
Findley, a former Galaxy forward who played for the U.S. in South Africa, has said his intention is to play in Europe. McCarty, taken with the No. 1 overall selection, was a key figure in FC Dallas' run to the MLS Cup final.
1. Sanna Nyassi (Seattle), midfielder
2. Atiba Harris (FC Dallas), midfielder/forward
3. Nathan Sturgis (Real Salt Lake), midfielder
4. Shea Salinas (Philadelphia), midfielder
5. Alan Gordon (Chivas USA), forward
6. O'Brian White (Toronto FC), forward
7. Alejandro Moreno (Philadelphia), forward
8. Joe Cannon (San Jose), goalkeeper
9. Jonathan Leathers (Kansas City), defender
10. John Thorrington (Chicago), midfielder
Harris is a former Chivas USA player. Sturgis, Moreno and Cannon previously played for the Galaxy.