Bay FC GM Lucy Rushton steps down midway through 1st season

Lucy Rushton has stepped down as general manager of Bay FC halfway through the National Women's Soccer League expansion team's first season, the team announced on Monday.

Bay FC technical director Matt Potter will assume some of Rushton's roles as head of football and interim sporting director

Rushton was hired as Bay FC's GM in June 2023 ahead of the team's inaugural NWSL season. She led the global coaching search that resulted in the hiring of Albertin Montoya.

Rushton also oversaw the buildout of Bay FC's international-heavy roster, which included a world-record transfer of Zambian forward Racheal Kundananji for €735,000 transfer fee (about $788,000 at the time), with a possible $75,000 add-on, in February.

"Being a part of building a new club in the sport I love is something that I will forever be grateful for," Rushton said in a statement released by Bay FC.

"It has been a privilege and honor to lead them into the inaugural season and I will always hold Bay FC close to my heart. This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life, but I believe the right one for me right now. I am excited for and look forward to my next chapter."

Bay FC has been inconsistent in its inaugural NWSL season despite an abundance of talent that includes Kundananji, Nigerian forward Asisat Oshoala and Venezuelan playmaker Deyna Castellanos.

The expansion team currently sit in 11th place in the 14-team league, level on points (15) with Angel City FC and San Diego Wave FC. San Diego announced on Monday that the team had fired head coach Casey Stoney amid a seven-game winless streak.

Rushton came to Bay FC and the NWSL following roles in MLS with Atlanta United FC and D.C. United. She has previous experience working for an expansion team, having served as Atlanta's head of technical recruitment and analysis from the outset of the club in 2016 until 2021.

Atlanta won MLS Cup in 2018.

Rushton became general manager of D.C. United in April 2021 and remained in the role until October 2022. She exited D.C. United during a season that saw the club finish last in MLS.

Rushton is known for her analytical, data-based approach to decision making. She utilized that approach to scout and sign players for Bay FC, as well as to hire Montoya as the team's coach.

"I live on Excel," Rushton told ESPN last year.

Montoya has a storied coaching career in the Bay Area from the youth game to college and the professional ranks. He previously coached some of Bay FC's founders and was an assistant coach at Stanford and Santa Clara, their alma maters.

Montoya was initially a consultant in Bay FC's coaching search, but Rushton realized after going through the process that his coaching profile matched her search criteria.

Bay FC is 5-9-0 this season, while the team's 25 goals conceded ranks third-worst in the NWSL. Montoya speaks frequently of his desire to play attacking soccer and joked this weekend, after Bay FC's 1-0 victory over Angel City, that he loves high-scoring games.