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Are Red Bull Players Worth Their Salaries? Ali Curtis Edition

Is the paycheck too big for the production?

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

For the last two years, I have taken at a look at the salaries being paid to New York Red Bulls players and asked the question, "are Red Bull players worth their salaries?" This year is no different. Like the last two years, we'll be looking at the 10 most expensive players on the roster and judging if they are living up to the salary. Like last year, we'll be excusing players who haven't been with the team the whole year, meaning Gonzalo Veron (#7 - $200,004 guaranteed), Shaun Wright-Phillips (#10 - $145,704), and Dane Richards (#12 - $105,000) will be left off the list so they are not unfairly judged. The data for the salaries has been compiled into a nice Google Sheets document by Euguene Rupinski of Brotherly Game. The stats below are from all competitions (credit to MetroFanatic).

#10 - Sean Davis - $97,500

16 Games Played
5 Games Started
556 Minutes
1 Goals
1 Assist

Davis hasn't started much, but that's due to the nature of the three headed beast of a midfield the Red Bulls' currently possess. The youngster was an academy signing, following in the footsteps of Matt Miazga and Connor Lade. He's been a solid player when in the game, and the showing against Chelsea in a friendly has us hoping we'll see more of him soon.

Verdict: Valued Correctly

#9 - Damien Perrinelle - $132,000

30 Games Played
29 Games Started
2580 Minutes
2 Goals
1 Assist

Perrinelle has been something of a yellow card machine. He's one away from 11 on the season, which would trigger a third automatic one game suspension. This has seemed to be sort of a game plan by the Red Bulls to protect Matt Miazga as Marsch and company have said they don't want him to change his style of play. With that considered, he's just what the team needs on defense. When you allow both of your fullbacks to join in the attack, you need players who can be physical at center back to reduce the effectiveness of counter attacks. Perrinell is that, which allows Miazga to run people down and stay out of trouble while he develops.

Verdict: Valued Correctly

#8 - Luis Robles - $151,375

36 Games Played
36 Games Started
3270Minutes
1.21 Goals Against Average
10 Shutouts

Robles has kept the Red Bulls in too many games to count. Against the Union, he kept it 4-1 when a lesser keeper would've let it end 4-3. The 1.21 GAA is misleading given that keepers can't be blamed for how some goals work themselves out. He should be in the conversation for Keeper of the Year and possibly Most Valuable Player in my book.

Value: Underpaid

#7 - Roy Miller - $200,000

7 Games Played
6 Games Started
534 Minutes
0 Goals
0 Assist

Miller has had an unfortunate season. After a strong 2014, Miller was tagged for another good year as the starting left back. He suffered an injury in the first week of the season, and then eventually lost his spot to breakout star Kemar Lawrence. He came back from injury and made some starts, and even played in the Gold Cup for Costa Rica. Another injury though took him out. He might return for the playoffs, but he'll be sitting behind Lawrence once again if it happens.

Value: Overpaid (not for skills, but based on injuries this year)

#6 - Felipe Martins - $207,500

36 Games Played
35 Games Started
3006 Minutes
3 Goals
6 Assist

Felipe was acquired in a trade that sent Ambroise Oyongo and Eric Alexander to the Montreal Impact. In return we got Felipe and an allocation spot that would translate to Sacha Kljestan. When he was slotted in as defensive midfielder, a lot of people (myself included) didn't understand it. Jesse Marsch and Felipe proved us wrong though as he has performed. He should've scored more goals earlier in the year, but no one can argue against his inclusion in the team going forward.

Verdict: Valued Correctly

#5 - Lloyd Sam - $240,000

35 Games Played
29 Games Started
2414 Minutes
12 Goals
8 Assist

Sam had never scored more than 6 goals in a season for the Red Bulls since he joined the team in 2013. This year he has 12, which is just under half of all his goals scored with the team. In fact, that number is the first time he has eclipsed 10 in a single season since he has been playing the game. Sam was always a threat on the outside with good footwork, and his patented chop to wrong foot a defender. Cutting inside this under has created a new dimension to his game as he's now a threat to score on most excursions into the box.

Verdict: Slightly Underpaid

#4 - Dax McCarty - $262,500

34 Games Played
34 Games Started
2987 Minutes
1 Goals
8 Assist

Where are you Jurgen Klinsmann? Why has Dax not been given a shot at your squad despite the desperate need for a defensive midfielder? Dax has been a rock for the Red Bulls and this year is no different. The captain of the team still has 1 year left on his contract and deserves a major pay day after showing he's one of the best players, not just midfielders in the league.

Verdict: Underpaid

#3 - Ronald Zubar - $320,000

12 Games Played
9 Games Started
740 Minutes
2 Goals
0 Assist

Zubar was supposed to be an every day starting center back. He trotted out in the position starting against Sporting Kansas City on opening day. He was the center back, until he got hurt, and Matt Miazga played him off the field. He's now healthy and is (probably) the backup now that Miazga's suspension is complete. Unless something happens, the Red Bulls basically have a decent bench player in Zubar.

Verdict: Overpaid

#2 - Sacha Kljestan - $537,500

35 Games Played
35 Games Started
2994 Minutes
8 Goals
14 Assist

Would you believe me if I told you that Kljestan leads the team in assists? I honestly didn't know it either until I put this post together. His 14 assists lead the team, and he's the only player to get 10 or more this season. Throw in 8 goals and you have a very good attacking midfielder. Also throw in the fact that Kljestan is technically not a designated player in 2015 (thanks Allocation Money!) and you have a pretty decent cap hit for a player that produces.

Verdict: Valued Correctly (for total pay, Underpaid relative to cap hit)

#1 - Bradley Wright-Phillips - $660,000

35 Games Played
34 Games Started
2991 Minutes
16 Goals
9 Assist

I'm going to be taking 2014 into account for Bradley Wright-Phillips, and for good reason. The dude scored 27 goals last year in the regular season, and has come back with 16 goals this year. Despite the drop off in goals, he's still close to the total production from a year ago when you take assists into account. 29 Goals & Assists in 2014, 25 in 2015. The dude has adapted his game to fit what Marsch wants out of him, and the team hasn't seen a real drop off in production from him. The dude is an animal, and has proved the DP contract was the right move.

Verdict: Slightly Underpaid

What do you think? How do you value the guys on the roster given their salaries? Has RBNY done a good job with it this year? Let us know in the comments.