June 23, 2011

Is Chicharito worth more than the entire USMNT squad?

Well, lets see. Earlier today I saw a comment on an MLSSoccer.com recap of the Mexico vs. Honduras match, where someone claimed that Javier Hernandez's value was around €40M, and to be worth more than the entire United States national soccer team roster.

And yes, that's far more than probably the most expensive player on the U.S. national team. Right now, before even doing any research, I would say either Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey or Tim Howard is the most expensive American right now, and I would put their value, in Euros roughly around €12-16M.

But to say the entire roster? Now, I think any fan with common sense can collectively agree, that's a far stretch. So, lets crunch some numbers and make a wild guess to see if this commenter is making a decent statement or is just trolling the Internet boards.

Below is a list of the United States Gold Cup roster, along with that player's respective club.

Player Club
Tim Howard Everton (England)
Nick Rimando Real Salt Lake (United States)
Marcus Hahnemann Free agent
Jonathan Spector Free agent
Carlos Bocanegra St. Etienee (France)
Oguchi Onyewu Milan (Italy)
Steve Cherundolo Hannover 96 (Germany)
Jonathan Bornstein UANL (Mexico)
Eric Lichaj Aston Villa (England)
Tim Ream Red Bull New York (United States)
Clarence Goodson Brøndby (Denmark)
Michael Bradley Aston Villa (England)
Maurice Edu Rangers (Scotland)
Clint Dempsey Fulham (England)
Landon Donovan L.A. Galaxy (United States)
Jermaine Jones Schalke 04 (Germany)
Sacha Kljestan Anderlecht (Belgium)
Robbie Rogers Columbus Crew (United States)
Freddy Adu Benefica (Portugal)
Alejandro Bedoya Örebro (Sweden)
Juan Agudelo Red Bull New York (United States)
Chris Wondolowski San Jose Earthquakes (United States)
Jozy Altidore Villarreal (Spain)

Now, for the tricky part, to determine each person's value. Please note this will be incredibly rough, and likely an inaccurate mean of determining player value. Then again, there's never a proper way until the fee is disclosed in world soccer transfers.


  • Everton paid Manchester United roughly £3.0M for Howard. And that was in 2007. 
  • Given the fact he has installed himself as the regular keeper for Everton is critical, and not to mention that Everton is a fairly decent EPL club. They are not necessarily a top power, but they are a respectable side
  • Seeing how his value has increased by 0.7 each successive season according to this website, lets just say it continued that trend through today and has doubled in value each season with Everton. 
  • For statistical purpose, we will use a +/- error of 5%
  • That means his value at the end of 2007-08 was around £3.7M +/- 5%. Then at the end of 2008-09, it would have been £5.1M.
  • Should this trend continue, at the end of the 2010-11 season, his value should be roughly around £13.5M
  • Now, using this Yahoo! Currency converter these are the numbers it spits out:

  • While Nick Rimando has been prolific in MLS, he has had seen little national team playing time, and has never played abroad. Knowing how difficult it is to attain MLS fees, we'll have to use Salary Figures to determine this, as well as a number of outside factors.
  • According to the MLS Players Union salary chart, Rimando's salary is $150K, with $158K guarenteed compensation. That's a somewhat higher salary than the average MLS player, but still far below that top paid MLS players.
  • To figure out his transfer value, we'll account his age, national team playing time and value and success of club.
    • Age: In his low 30s, Rimando is likely at the prime of his goalkeeping
    • National team playing: As we mentioned, it's low
    • Club success: Rimando is top choice netminder for Salt Lake and he was a key cog in the team's run to the CONCACAF Champions League finals.
  • Given is lack of national team playing and primarily MLS experience, he is a gem of a player to acquire domestically, but probably not so much internationally. Depending on how many years of his contract, I'll just take a wild presumption and say the transfer fee would be his 2011 base salary tripled. Doing the math, that rounds out to nearly $553K, making his fee an incredibly inexpensive transfer value.
  • Converting again on the Yahoo! Currency converter, we get this number:


  • Tim Ream might be one of the most valuable prospects playing in MLS at this moment. A young defender, embedded with much potential. However his inexperience has shown on the national stage, and has created a contingency of haters.
  • Never the less, MLS – for whatever reason – was gung ho on reporting PSV Eindhoven showing immense interest in Ream. Evidently, there were no price tags attached.
  • Regardless of what anyone thinks is transfer fee should be, Ream is incredibly underpayed as an athlete, making a meager $55K a year. However, it's at $62.5K with guaranteed compensation. So in other words, Red Bull New York has to meat up his paycheck or he'll cater to European sides offering him far greater pay.
  • I've added the average fees of young MLS players hopping the pond, and came up with an estimated transfer fee of £3M. For the sake of things, lets just pretend that that's his value, should he be the average player making the hop over from MLS to Europe.


  • Hopped on the USMNT scene thanks to a jump over to Norway's IK Start from FC Dallas. He's risen through the ranks in Scandanavia and has now become a regular on the Danish SuperLiga side, Brondby. 


  • All we know is that Aston Villa bought Bradley from 'Gladbach for "a lot more than" 'Gladbach bought Bradley from Hereneeven. Could not find anything. But given his age and success all around, I'll say that it was probably in the ballpark of £7M. Again, just randomly guessing is not the best way, but news sources do it all the time when it comes to transfer rumors. So presuming it's anywhere close to that, here's what it converts to.

  • Presuming this is remotely correct, it was a fee of £2.6M that Rangers paid to MLS to get him to come over from Toronto FC. That was in 2008. And attributing his success with Rangers, but some mild success with the national team, I'd say his value has only increased to around £5M. Then again, I don't know if any clubs are keen on Edu. Probably none willing to put forth a bid. Just using this ballistic number, here we go:


  • Given his pivotal success at Fulham and the mounting rumors about interest from Italian sides and Liverpool, Dempsey might just be the most expensive American soccer player there is at this time
  • First things, first. He was transfered from New England Revolution to Fulham for a 1.5M fee that the club had to pay MLS.
  • Given the "apparent" facts that Dempsey had rumors nearing £15-16M for Italian clubs to buy Deuce, we're going to say his value tripled each easy since he joined the Cottages in 2007. Thus meaning that Dempsey's value went up to 4.5M by 2008 and 7.5 by 2009, only to now be around £13.5M by 2011. Averaging the two out, we're going to say his value in British pounds is around £14.5M. Thus it translates into.


  • It would seem to make the most sense that the "face of American soccer" would have the largest value of any player. Sure, playing MLS ball primarily does hinder some value, but his incredible and vital success on the international stage, coped with his successful loan spell at Everton a year back are all pieces that boost his value.
  • For the sake of time and such, we're simply going to use the rumor that Manchester City wanted to buy Landon Donovan from the Los Angeles Galaxy at around 12-16 million. Which seems fare. He's in his prime, but he will only be in his prime for so long. 
  • He current captains a very solid MLS side, one that made the 2009 MLS Cup final and one that won the 2010 MLS Supporters' Shield. 
  • That being said these are the numbers we use, using the average of $14M.

  • Ever since Agudelo netted a goal in the U.S.A. vs. South Africa international friendly the USMNT supporters have had a fever for this young, venomous prospect. He has returned the favor in MLS scoring some incredible goals for New York and having a flashy presence with the national team.
  • Since it's New York, young prospect, goal-scoring, national team, and so on, we'll relate it his value to what Villarreal related Altidore's value. I mean, really, Atletico Madrid...Villarreal, the Spanish La Liga? It works! But given Agudelo's extremely young age, and still incredible inexperience, I cannot envision him having the same value Villarreal saw in Altidore...which was $10M. Instead, I'm going with $7M. 
  • Let's crunch numbers.
That's simply an example of my calculations I used. It's probably not the best method, but it's what I used for the remainder of the team, below is their values I calculated.

Values Table

Player Value (€) Total Team Value (€)
Tim Howard €15.24M €15.24M
Nick Rimando €0.39M €15.63M
Marcus Hahnemann €1.22M €16.85M
Jonathan Spector €1.75M €18.60M
Carlos Bocanegra €6.40M €25.00M
Oguchi Onyewu €9.55M €34.55M
Steve Cherundolo €5.27M €39.82M
Jonathan Bornstein €0.80M €40.62M
Eric Lichaj €3.75M €44.37M
Tim Ream €3.38M €47.75M
Clarence Goodson €3.25M €51.00M
Michael Bradley €7.90M €58.90M
Maurice Edu €5.64M €64.54M
Clint Dempsey €16.37M €80.91M
Landon Donovan €9.89M €90.80M
Jermaine Jones €7.41M €98.21M
Sacha Kljestan €1.68M €99.89M
Robbie Rogers €1.22M €101.11M
Freddy Adu €2.10M €103.21M
Alejandro Bedoya €2.45M €105.66M
Juan Agudelo €4.95M €110.61M
Chris Wondolowski €0.36M €110.97M
Jozy Altidore €6.26M €117.23M

Remember to take in fact that players such as Stuart Holden, Brad Guzan and Benny Feilhaber were not included in this roster. Players that might have increased the team's total "value".

If by some longshot chance these numbers are close to being correct, then the total USMNT value is nearly quadruple the value of Chicharito's so-called lone value. Should that belief is correct though, his value is double the value of the most expensive American, Clint Dempsey.

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Tyler Walter

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