With the addition of forward Mike Magee to the Chicago Fire roster nearly two weeks ago, Sherjill MacDonald dropped even further out of coach Frank Klopas' lineup.
"Everything is doing all right," MacDonald said about his troublesome calf, an injury that has slowed him all season. "The coaches make different decisions, so I just have to wait for my time again.
"I still have days when it's bad, but I'm just going to play with it till the end of the season. It's no big deal, you know? Some injuries you have to fight through."
MacDonald, the team's only active Designated Player, is also the team's highest-paid player. Yet the forward has only started seven of the team's 12 games and has yet to score this season.
"I'm just working hard," the Dutchman said. "It's been a long time since I was in this situation. I'm used to playing a lot of games, but I think a lot also has to do with the system they play here. I've never played alone up top. I did it because I'm a team player, so I'm not going to say no.
"But now we're playing with two up top. It's a little bit frustrating if you're not playing and suddenly they play with two up top. But what can you do? I'm just waiting for my time, and hopefully I can play to my strengths."
The Fire has had its share of missed scoring opportunities this season. The Fire hopes it has found an answer to that problem with Mike Magee. What makes Magee special is what happened Sunday in a 2-0 victory against D.C. United.
Just a few minutes after missing one golden scoring chance, Magee didn't miss in the 85th minute, giving the Fire a 2-0 lead.
"Even in the last game he had the first chance, but you want the next opportunity," Klopas said. "It doesn't matter how many you miss. You've got to be always looking for the next play, the next chance, and you've got to want the ball, and he's like that. He's not going to miss two, which he proved the other night."
On the move again:
The addition of Bakary Soumare at center back meant Jalil Anibaba moved to right back. He's responded with a couple of strong games and looks more comfortable there.
"First of all, the team effort was great," Anibaba said of Sunday's shutout of D.C. United. "Front to back, we were organized. It was a cohesive unit. Personally, I thought it was a decent effort, for myself. It can always be better, but I thought it was good."
Anibaba, a third-year pro out of North Carolina, seems to be growing into his role as someone who can start wherever needed on the back line.
"I'm comfortable at right back," he said. "It's good to be back out there. It's fine."
Midfielder Joel Lindpere will miss two Fire matches after being called to duty with the Estonian national team in a pair of international friendlies. Lindpere will miss Saturday's match (7:30 p.m. at Toyota Park, Channel 50) against Portland as well as the June 12 U.S. Open Cup fourth-round match against Columbus at Toyota Park.
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