Needing an immediate infusion of fresh blood at key spots, and the Chicago Fire did what it had to do in trading for Bakary Soumare and Mike Magee on back-to-back days nearly two weeks ago.
So what's next for a team trying to fight its way into a playoff spot in the MLS Eastern Conference?
The transfer window
The Fire hasn't lost since trading for Soumare and Magee in separate deals nearly two weeks ago, but nobody believes the club is or should be finished working on its roster, including owner Andrew Hauptman. It's an ongoing process for president of soccer operations Javier Leon and vice president of soccer operations Guillermo Petrei.
"We've got to see if we can add more quality players," coach Frank Klopas said. "We have good players here. Sometimes you need some time, but also you have to evaluate overall. Some areas that obviously we need to strengthen or get better. We need to add another piece in the middle that can provide that ability to add more depth and more quality now with the ball going forward.
"And you can never find enough forwards."
The back line appears set, though a little more depth wouldn't be a bad thing. At midfield the Fire hasn't had a playmaker since Sebastian Grazzini left nearly 12 months ago. Someone in that mold could be the missing puzzle piece offensively.
And like Klopas said, you can never find enough forwards, especially for a team that has had one double-digit scorer since 2003 and is one of only two MLS squads still in single digits this season.
Hauptman said Sunday he expects the club to make a move during the secondary transfer window, which opens July 9. The only question is how much the club is willing to spend. Does it go all in for a multimillion-dollar international player, or does it just dip a toe in for someone with a salary of about $500,000.
New home for Mac?
In a league with such a tight salary cap, it doesn't make sense to have a Designated Player sitting on your bench. MacDonald is the team's only DP, has the biggest salary and hasn't scored all year. The only way the Fire can get MacDonald off the books so he doesn't drag down the salary cap is to loan him out, probably somewhere in Europe. His contract expires after this MLS season, though the club does have an option.
"I just try to play my best and if it doesn't work out it doesn't work out," he said Tuesday. "I'll just go back to Belgium. I'm sure there's enough teams that want me. I'm not worried."
Renew Flaco loan
The Fire traded for Alvaro Fernandez at midseason last year, but when he didn't produce the club sent him on loan to Al Rayyan in Qatar. That loan expires next month, but the Fire seems set at outside midfielder with Patrick Nyarko, Dilly Duka and Joel Lindpere. Magee and Chris Rolfe also can play outside if the club brings in another forward.
Expect the Fire to do all it can to sell Fernandez, a DP, or extend his loan to keep this salary off the books.