Sources: D.C. hires Rushton as first female MLS GM since ’99

D.C. United has hired Lucy Ruston to be the team’s new general manager, sources confirmed to ESPN.

Ruston becomes the second female to hold that position at an Major League Soccer club. Lynn Meterparel served GM for the San Jose Clash in 1999.

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Sportico was the first to report the news of Rushton’s hiring.

Ruston becomes the second current female GM at a major men’s professional sports team, joining Kim Ng, who was hired in Novemeber by Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins.

Rushton joins the Black-and-Red from Atlanta United FC where she was the Five Stripes’ head of technical recruitment and analysis. Ruston has previously worked at Reading, where she served as head of technical scouting. During her time there, Reading claimed the English League Championship title during the 2011-12 season, and made a run to the semifinals of the 2015 FA Cup. She has also worked at Watford, where she was a player recruitment analyst.

According to Rushton’s LinkedIn page, she received a bachelor’s degree in Sports Leadership from the University of Reading as well as a master’s degree in Sports Performance Analysis from the University of Wales Institute.

Rushton takes over from Dave Kasper, who has moved to a newly created role of President of Soccer Operations. A source with knowledge of the move said that Kasper will be in charge of the entire technical side of the club, including the first team, USL Championship side Loudoun United, and DCU’s academy.

The appointment follows another groundbreaking move made by D.C. United. Back in December, DCU named Danita Johnson as president of business operations, becoming the first Black team president in MLS history, and just the third woman to do so.

The move continues a period of immense change for DCU. After failing to reach the playoffs last season, the club replaced club icon Ben Olsen as manager, eventually hiring Hernan Losada. The club last won a trophy in 2013 when it claimed the U.S. Open Cup. DCU won the last of its four MLS Cups in 2004, and most recently won the Supporters Shield in 2007.