SAN JOSE — The Earthquakes have one of Major League Soccer's smallest payrolls, according to figures released this week by the MLS Players Union.
San Jose's total base payroll of $3.17 million ranks fifth from the bottom among 19 MLS teams. The top-spending teams are New York ($10 million), Los Angeles ($9.02 million), Seattle ($5.36 million) and Vancouver ($4.30 million). Chivas USA has the smallest payroll at $2.45 million.
The Earthquakes will spend $3.37 million in guaranteed payments this year. MLS and team officials, who have a policy against releasing salary information, say the players union figures don't always reflect the actual compensation.
Earthquakes star Chris Wondolowski got the club's biggest raise but fullback Justin Morrow also was handsomely rewarded for last year's success of winning the Supporters' Shield.
As previously reported Wondolowski doubled his income from last year to $600,000 to become the Quakes' second-ever designated player. The league's reigning most valuable player has confirmed the figure.
Morrow, who developed into a Major League Soccer all-star defender, is getting $139,562.50 in guaranteed salary. He made $44,100 last season, according to players union data.
Target forward Alan Gordon's salary increased by $76,666 whereas central midfielder Sam Cronin got a $58,344 raise from last year. San Jose also gave raises to goalkeeper Jon Busch, midfielders, Rafael Baca, Marvin Chavez and Shea Salinas, defender Steve Beitashour and forwards Sam Garza and Steven Lenhart.
Aging defender/midfielder Ramiro Corrales took a big cut to stay with the club as a player/coach. After making $183,875 in 2012 he is earning $60,000. The salary for Victor Bernardez, who emerged as one of MLS' best defenders a year ago, remained at $100,000.
The Quakes also are paying Honduran international Walter Martinez $90,000 in hopes that he can be a factor this season.
French star Thierry Henry of the New York Red Bulls is the league's highest-paid player at $4.35 million -- more than the total salary of all but four teams. Robbie Keane of the Los Angeles Galaxy makes $4.33 million whereas New York's Tim Cahill gets $3.62 million and the Galaxy's Landon Donovan receives $2.5 million.
Contact Elliott Almond at 408-920-5865. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/elliottalmond.