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Lucy Rushton has been hired by NWSL expansion team Bay FC to be their first GM, sources have told ESPN.

Bay FC was announced as the league’s 14th team in April ahead of their inaugural season in 2024

Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.).

While this will be Rushton’s initial foray into women’s soccer, she has extensive experience on the men’s side of the game.

Rushton, 34, was most recently the GM at MLS side D.C. United from April 2021 until October 2022. Prior to that she was Atlanta United’s head of technical recruitment and analysis from 2016-21, where she was hailed for her work in helping the Five Stripes claim the 2018 MLS Cup.

At the time of her dismissal from D.C. United, the Black-and-Red were in the midst of a difficult season that ended with the team finishing last in the entire league.

At the time, ownership cited on-field performance as the reason for her departure. But her removal also took place just three months after Wayne Rooney was named manager, and the Englishman soon increased his say in player matters. The remainder of her duties were absorbed by long-time president of soccer Dave Kasper.

As for her hiring by Bay FC, sources tell ESPN that her grounding in analytics held huge appeal for the expansion club’s ownership. Another plus was her familiarity with taking on groundbreaking roles. At the time of her appointment at D.C. United, she was just the second women to become an MLS GM.

Ruston also previously worked at English side Reading, where she served as head of technical scouting. During her time there, Reading claimed the EFL 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.

Also on Wednesday, Bay FC announced it had hired former Levi Strauss & Co. executive Brady Stewart to be the organization’s first CEO.

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NWSL’s Bay FC hire ex-D.C. United GM Lucy Rushton – sources