Report: Lucy Rushton Hired by D.C. United; Will Be 2nd Female GM in MLS History

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 12, 2021

D.C. United and Vancouver Whitecaps play during the first half of an MLS soccer match, in this general view of Audi Field, Saturday, July 14, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/Associated Press

D.C. United has agreed to terms on a contract with Lucy Rushton to make her the club's new general manager, according to Sportico's Emily Caron and Scott Soshnick

Rushton, who has worked as Atlanta United's head of video and technical analysis since 2015, would be the second female general manager in MLS history. Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl explained how she would be the first to handle team-building duties: 

Her hiring would also come on the heels of Kim Ng becoming the first female GM of a major men's professional sports team. The Miami Marlins brought Ng aboard last November.

Prior to Atlanta, Rushton worked in England as Reading's head of technical scouting and as a player recruitment analyst at Watford. She earned a Master's degree in sports performance analysis at University of Wales Institute before going to work for Reading.

Speaking with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Doug Roberson in September 2016, Rushton emphasized how her belief in the value of statistical data wasn't absolute.

"A good balance of the two ultimately helps to generate the full picture and serves to help reduce the risk of making a wrong signing," she said. "In the early stages of the process, however, data can be used to provide some direction to scouting, and/or to highlight some potential targets who may have otherwise gone under the radar."

Jonathan Spector, Atlanta United's head of international player recruitment and development, also spoke highly of her work with the club during a December 2019 interview with The Athletic's Felipe Cardenas.

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"But she comes very much from a data background," Spector said. "The work I've seen that she's done so far has been incredibly impressive and helpful and beneficial — trying to narrow down an incredibly vast player pool to choose from."

Rushton would replace Dave Kasper as D.C. United's general manager. Per Sportico, Kasper is taking over as the president of soccer operations.

Together, Rushton and Kasper will look to assemble a roster that can get D.C. United back into the playoffs after missing out in 2020. The club hasn't advanced past the first round of the postseason since 2015, either.