At a particularly treacherous point in the middle of the summer, Real Salt Lake found themselves struggling defensively.
In an effort to correct the course, or perhaps just because the opportunity emerged and was an agreeable one, RSL traded with DC United for Brandon McDonald, giving up a third-round draft pick for the central defender.
Kwame Watson-Siriboe was out for the season, as was Rich Balchan; there were still significant questions about the ability of Carlos Salcedo (which have been answered quite positively since), and Aaron Maund simply wasn't ready for much action.
McDonald seemed a fine short-term solution, and really, it's hard to argue. He made some acceptable appearances - spot-duty, if you will - and was at the ready should we have needed him. But the rise of Salcedo and the return of Schuler conspired to keep him out of the side, and such his season went.
He was released at the end of the season, and probably rightly so. At this stage of his career, McDonald will want to be doing things more significant than sitting on Real Salt Lake's bench. He's a good defender, no doubt, but there's simply not room for him in this very packed squad.
Editor's note: This is part of a series of player profiles recapping the 2013 season and previewing the 2014 season. Player ratings were compiled via a vote by RSL Soapbox writers. Statistics are via mlssoccer.com.