I am going to do this in three ways: for the entire group of players, by player position and finally by team.
First let's look at how unequal salary is distributed for both the player's base salary and for their guaranteed compensation for all players in the league. For Major League Soccer, I find that base salary yields to a Gini = 0.606 and that guaranteed compensation yields a Gini of 0.614 - which are fairly high as compared to 0.432 (or 43.2) for the United States as a whole in 2011 (note the numbers in the link above would be divided by 100 to compare with the numbers that I am reporting).
So, does this result hold by player position? Again I am going to calculate the Gini coefficient for both base salary and guaranteed compensation. In the salary data from the Major League Soccer Players Union website, some players are labeled as having two positions. For these players, I have included them in both positions in the Gini calculations reported below. Looking at the table below, the amount of salary inequality increases as we move away from goal keeper to defense to mid-fielders to forwards. Thus salary inequality is being driven more by the offense and less by defense. In fact forwards are the only position that has greater salary inequality than the league as a whole, in which I would conclude that forwards are the most important driver of salary inequality in MLS.
|POS||Base Salary||Guar. Comp.|
So, are there specific teams that are have a greater impact on salary inequality in Major League Soccer this year? Yes, and it is driven by four teams: LA, NY, Seattle and Toronto. Each has a Gini coefficient above the average for the league, with Toronto having the greatest amount of salary inequality. The 15 other teams in the league all have Gini coefficients below the MLS average and 10 of those 15 (over half the teams in the league) have Gini coefficients that are more equal than the US was in 2011.
|Team||Base Salary||Guar. Comp.|
Thus Major League Soccer has rather unequal salaries and is driven by forwards and by the Galaxy, the Red Bulls, Toronto FC and the Sounders FC.