The adsorption equilibrium constants of monovalent and divalent cations to material surfaces in aqueous media are central to many technological, natural, and geochemical processes. Cation adsorption/desorption is often proposed to occur in concert with proton-transfer on hydroxyl-covered mineral surfaces, but so far this cooperative effect has been inferred indirectly. This work applies Density Functional Theory (DFT)-based molecular dynamics simulations of explicit liquid water/mineral interfaces to calculate metal ion desorption free energies. Monodentate adsorption of Na(+), Mg(2+), and Cu(2+) on partially deprotonated silica surfaces are considered. Na(+) is predicted to be unbound, while Cu(2+) exhibits larger binding free energies to surface SiO(-) groups than Mg(2+). The predicted trends agree with competitive adsorption measurements on fumed silica surfaces. As desorption proceeds, Cu(2+) dissociates one of the H2O molecules in its first solvation shell, turning into Cu(2+)O(-)(H2O)(3), while Mg remains Mg(2+)(H2O)(6). The protonation state of the SiO(-) group at the initial binding site does not vary monotonically with cation desorption.