For only the second time in Major League Soccer history, a woman has been hired as a team’s general manager. On Tuesday, according to Steven Goff of The Washington Post, D.C. United hired Lucy Rushton of Woodley, England to be in charge of player personnel.
Rushton comes to D.C. United after being with Atlanta United FC as their Head of Technical Recruitment and Analysis. Prior to her six years in Atlanta, Rushton worked as a player recruitment analyst for Watford during the 2007 season, and then the Reading Football Club as their senior performance analyst from 2008 to 2015.
Rushton’s educational background is a Masters Degree in Sports Performance Analysis from the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff, and then a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Leadership from the University of Reading in England. The fact that she speaks Spanish as well as English will make her an asset to her position as the D.C. United general manager because the team has five players from predominantly Spanish-speaking countries in Central and Southern America.
Rushton is the first female general manager in Major League Soccer since 1999 when Lynne Meterparel was named general manager of the San Jose Clash according to Daniel Rouse of The Score. While Meterparel was in charge of San Jose’s soccer team, the franchise changed its name from the San Jose Clash to the San Jose Earthquakes.
There have been two other notable female general managers of a professional sports team in North America over the years. Jo-Anne Polak of St. John’s, Newfoundland was the general manager of the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Canadian Football League from 1989 to 1991. Currently, Kim Ng is the general manager of the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball. It has been a tough start for the Marlins this season with Ng in charge. Miami is two games under .500 at four wins and six losses.