Major League Soccer’s primary transfer window for 2020 was set to close on May 7 before the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the market to shutter prematurely back in March.
This turn of events will probably make the eventual secondary transfer window a wild scene, but it kept clubs from pulling off the exciting brand of deadline day swoops we’ve become accustomed to over the years. Of course, that can’t prevent us from looking back at those impactful late maneuvers from the past.
To ensure a splashy finish, let’s stroll back down memory lane for this updated list, taking these in reverse order from the present.
Lalas Abubakar & Jonathan Lewis, Colorado, 2019
Lalas Abubakar in action for the Colorado Rapids in 2019 | Colorado Rapids
The Rapids did all sorts of wheeling and dealing to remake the roster before and during last season, but their best single day of captures came as the primary transfer market was set to close.
They completed deals to acquire both Jonathan Lewis (trade with NYCFC) and Lalas Abubakar (loan from Columbus with a purchase option they’d eventually take up) so close to the May 7 midnight deadline that the moves weren’t officially announced until near Colorado lunchtime the following day. Lewis provided a quickness boost to the attack, notching five goals and a few helpers in 899 minutes despite subsisting on a limited amount of final-third touches.
Abubakar was the big catch, however, as he helped Colorado turn respectable at the back. Before he arrived, the team was 1-7-2 with a league-worst goals-against average. With him marshaling the defense, the Rapids leaked about three-quarters of a goal per game fewer to go 10-8-4.