D.C. United have hired Atlanta United’s head of technical recruitment Lucy Rushton as their new General Manager in an historic first for MLS.
D.C. are shaking things up after a disappointing 2020 season and have been on the lookout for a new GM ahead of the new campaign kicking off this month. Incumbent Dave Kasper is stepping aside to become the new president of football operations.
According to Sportico, they have appointed Rushton, who is currently head of technical recruitment & analysis at rival MLS club Atlanta.
Rushton will become the first woman ever to become the GM of a MLS club, and only the second woman in history to hold the role in any major men’s professional sport in the US. That’s after MLB franchise the Miami Marlins hired Kim Ng in December.
It’s said she has been picked especially for her background in data and analysis, and will bring revolutionary data-driven approach to the role. D.C. United hope that can help inspire them to glory in the years ahead.
It comes as another forward-thinking move from D.C. United, who last year appointed Danita Johnson as their president of business operations. Johnson became the first black person to serve as a club president in MLS history, and holds one of the highest executive roles ever held by a woman in MLS.
Johnson said at the time, per the MLS website: “It’s not just because I’m a black woman and ‘we’re trying to check a box,’ because people are very, very aware of social justice in this moment.
“It should be all the time that this is a part of the conversation and thought process. So I think for me, beyond just telling the story of a black woman or black man, is telling the story of who they are and why they’re in the position they’re in.”
D.C. United kick off their 2021 MLS season against New York City on Sunday 18 April.