Yesterday Major League Soccer released the wages earned by players in the league.This gave us an opportunity to find out exactly how much some of our former Wanderers and ex-global superstars earn in the world's second biggest 'soccer' retirement home - only narrowly pipped to that particular honour by the Indian Super League.
Former Wanderers in MLS
Three former Wanderers currently ply their trade in MLS, Mr Loyalty himself Nigel Reo-Coker, flying full-back Tyrone Mears and Donovan Ricketts. Other Wanderers to have played in the league are our two-time player of the year Tim Ream and former central defender Andy O'Brien.
Reo-Coker now plays alongside Didier Drogba at Montreal Impact, earning himself a pretty penny or two on $275,000 a year - which works out as $5,288 a week. However, when he first moved to North America to join Vancouver Whitecaps, the midfielder was being paid $400,000 a year - that's around $7,700 a week.
Jamaican goalkeeper Ricketts signed for Wanderers back in 2004, probably because with that surname we presumed he'd be as awesome as namesake Michael, but failed to make a single appearance and was soon farmed off to Bradford City. Ricketts signed for LA Galaxy in 2011 on a deal worth $170,000 a year, two years later he had moved on to Portland Timbers and had more than doubled his salary to $275,000 a year. He was traded back to LA in July and now earns $260,000 a year.
Mears, meanwhile, currently plays alongside Clint Dempsey at Seattle Sounders earning himself $165,000 per year ($3,173 a week).
Everyone's favourite American left-back Ream started his career with Chicago Fire in 2009, moving on to New York Red Bulls after two seasons. In 2010, at New York, Ream was earning a relatively meagre $40,000 before earning a new deal worth $55,000 a year ($1,000 a week) the next season and then moving on to Wanderers in 2012.
Andy O'Brien moved to MLS in 2012 to play for Vancouver Whitecaps having left Leeds United. The centre-back was earning $150,000 per year on the Canadian west coast.
Amazingly, the highest earners in the MLS include former goal shy Sunderland and Hull City failure 'Dozy' Jozy Altidore. Now, in the hypothetical situation of signing a new striker who has just scored three goals in 52 appearances for Sunderland and scored two goals in 30 appearances for Hull - as well as a good spell in Holland - how much would you pay him? I might chuck him a tenner a week...
But oh no, Toronto FC are splashing out a cool $4.75 MILLION A YEAR for the right to have him amongst their ranks. That's $91,346 per week, $13,049 per day, $543 per hour and $9 every single minute!
The MLS has, and has had, its fair share of international superstars looking for one final massive paycheck. This year alone Kaka, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, David Villa and Andrea Pirlo have all switched to the US. And unsurprisingly they all rank amongst the highest earners.
The highest earner of all is Kaka, who earns a cool $6.6 million per year from Orlando City - that's around $127,000 per week. Gerrard is a close second, earning $6.2 million per year ($119,230 a week), and Lampard is third on $6 million per year ($115,348 a year), with Villa up next earning $5.61 million annually ($107,884 a week).
All four of these trumped the wages earned by former England captain David Beckham, who was the first top player to head to the MLS when he was still a half decent player. Beckham was earning a cheeky $5.5 million per year ($105,769 a week) at LA Galaxy. Bizarrely, Jermain Defoe earned more than that in his time at Toronto FC who further proved their deluded opinion on what constitutes a top striker by paying him $6 million per year.
Somewhat surprisingly, Chelsea cult hero Didier Drogba is well down the rankings, earning $1.66 million per year at Montreal - around £32,000 a week. That puts him behind Pirlo ($2 million per year), Robbie Keane ($4.5 million per year), Obafemi Martins ($2.4 million per year), Clint Dempsey ($3.9 million per year), Sebastian Giovinco ($5.6 million per year) and even Michael Bradley, who somehow earns £6 million a year.
Championship Manager heroes
Unsurprisingly a few players of Championship Manager cult status who didn't quite cut the grade in real life made their way to the MLS at some point in their careers.
Heading that particular accolade is footballing mercenary Freddy Adu - who was once lauded as the next Pele as a 14-year-old. Champ Man jumped on the bandwagon and made him an absolute world beater but, in real life, his career hasn't quite met the expectation. He's played for no fewer than 13 clubs, and now turns out for those well known Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League, the US version of the Championship.
Back in May 2011 Adu, who is still only 26, was being paid $475,000 per year by Philadelphia Union, which dropped to $400,000 a year the following season.
Two other Champ Man heroes were included in this year's salary announcement. Former AIK wonderkid Stefan Ishizaki was earning $200,000 per year with LA Galaxy before moving back to AIK in July, while Norwegian superstar of Champ Man 01/02 fame Pa Modou Kah currently earns $240,000 per year at Vancouver Whitecaps.
A couple of older Champ Man legends of note were Jaime Moreno, who was earning $160,000 at DC United in 2009, and Josh Wolff, who was on $220,000 a year at DC in 2010.
Other players of interest
Ian Wright's two rubbish footballing sons are both currently playing in the MLS. Bradley Wright-Phillips is considered some kind of footballing God by New York Red Bulls fans, and earns $600,000 per year - more than four times more than his better known brother Shaun, who earns a cool $114,000 a year to keep his retirement package ticking over.
Before retiring Sky Sports News analyst Thierry Henry was earning $3.75 million per year at New York, while his teammate and former Everton man Tim Cahill was on $3.5 million a year.
Crap Scottish striker Kenny Miller was somehow earning $1.1 million a year at Vancouver in 2013, while Freddie Ljungberg earned $1.3 million a year as he graced Chicago Fire with his presence back in 2009 and former Argentina international and now River Plate manager Marcelo Gallardo was on $1.5 million a year at DC in 2008.
To finish, a few salaries of other rubbish players for you. Danny Dichio earned $157,00 a year at Toronto in 2008, Shaka Hislop earned himself $220,000 during a year at FC Dallas in 2007 and Darren Huckerby nabbed himself $360,000 as he scored nine goals in 28 games for San Jose Earthquakes in 2009.