When the Philadelphia Union acquired former United States Men's National Team player Freddy Adu last year, head coach Peter Nowak made it clear to media members that the team did not have its first ever designated player.
According to Major League Soccer's Press Box, an online hub of information for the league's media, Adu has a salary cap impact of a Designated Player. The tag means that Adu accounts for the maximum salary of $350,000 against the Union's $2,810,000 salary cap during the 2012 MLS season.
Last year Adu was paid a base salary of $475,884, with a guaranteed compensation of $594,884, but was not considered a designated player (a designated player acquired after the half-way point of the season only accounted for $167,500 in 2011) . This situation was due in part to him coming after the half-way point of the season, but it most likely was liked to the Union paying down his salary with allocation money.
The Brotherly Game projected Philadelphia's salary cap situation before the season began, and thought the Union were spending $2,711,300, or nearly $100,00 under the 2012 cap, and predicted $3,891,633.70 in overall guaranteed compensation spending. ESPN reported yesterday that he Union were spending $4,542,484 on their 2012 payroll.
The Union's CEO and Managing Partner Nick Sakiewicz told Cris Vito, of the Delaware County Times, that ESPN's numbers may not be correct.
Sakiewicz said to take the ESPN numbers with a grain of salt. He said the Union's average salary per player is somewhere in the ballpark of $100,000, whereas ESPN reports a total like $160,000.
MLS's Player Union will release all contracted players' base salaries and guaranteed compensation figures later this month.
(H/T to Chris Vito, who spotted this and noted it on Twitter)