D.C. United has agreed to terms with Lucy Rushton to become the club’s new general manager, according to people familiar with the hire. Rushton is Major League Soccer’s second female general manager and just the third woman to hold the position in any major men’s professional sport in the U.S.
Rushton is only the second active female general manager, alongside the Miami Marlins’ Kim Ng, who was hired in November.
Rushton will succeed Dave Kasper, who joined the club in 2002. The soccer veteran has served as D.C. United’s general manager since 2007 and also as its vice president of soccer operations since after the 2014 season. In the shakeup, Kasper will become the club’s new president of soccer operations.
Rushton’s appointment follows D.C. United’s hiring of Danita Johnson in December as president of business operations. Johnson became the first black man or woman to serve as an MLS team president and one of the highest-ranking female club executives in league history. The club also hired Hernán Losada as its new head coach in January.
The changes come after a disappointing season for D.C. United, during which the team finished second-to-last in MLS’ Eastern Conference with a 5-6-12 record and failed to qualify for the playoffs. The club has not won an MLS Cup since 2004 but did win two MLS Supporters Shields (for best regular-season record) in 2006 and 2007, along with a pair of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup competitions in 2008 and 2013.
Rushton brings a unique analysis-heavy approach to the club, coming to the District after a five-year stint with Atlanta United where she served as head of technical recruitment and analysis. She had joined the club upon its founding in 2015, two years before it began play as an MLS expansion team in 2017. Atlanta found quick success during her time there, winning the 2018 MLS Cup title and the U.S. Open Cup in 2019.
A U.K. native, Rushton spent seven years with England’s Reading Football Club as head of technical scouting prior to her move to Atlanta.
(The story has been corrected the headline and first paragraph to indicate that Rushton is the second female GM in MLS history.)