Lucy Rushton makes MLS history; LAFC favoured to lift the MLS Cup

D.C. United will make MLS history as they hire their first general manager in 13 years and put Lucy Rushton in that role.

Rushton, who has worked for Reading FC, Watford, and Atlanta United, will be just the second female general manager in league history and the first since 1999.

The only other time in MLS history that a female was the GM was Lynne Meterperel with the San Jose Clash (now Earthquakes) in 1999. Dave Kasper has been United's GM since 2007 and will move into a new role with the team as the president of soccer operations.

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Rushton is a graduate of the University of Reading and earned a master's degree at the University of Wales Institute. While she was the head of technical scouting at Reading FC, the side won the Championship in 2011-12 and made the 2015 FA Cup semifinals.

Most recently, Rushton was with Atlanta United as the head of technical recruitment and analysis. United hasn't won a trophy since 2013, and they last won the league in 2004. They are 150/1 to win the 2021 MLS Cup.

Season kicks off Friday, LAFC favored

The MLS season kicks off Friday with Houston Dynamo 0.85/1 against the San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders 0.81/1 against Minnesota United. There are eight games scheduled for Saturday and three more on Sunday.

The big game of the weekend is Sunday as the defending champion Columbus Crew open at home against last year's Supporters' Shield winners, Philadelphia Union. The Crew are 0.85/1 to win the opener.

Columbus Crew celebrate their MLS Cup win over Seattle Sounders.
Columbus Crew celebrate their MLS Cup win over Seattle Sounders.

Los Angeles Football Club are the odds on favorites to lift the MLS Cup at 4/1, just ahead of the Crew at 5.5/1. Last year's runners-up Seattle Sounders at 6/1 while Jozy Altidore and Toronto FC are 9/1.

LAFC's Carlos Vela, the 2019 MLS Most Valuable Player, is the favorite to win the Golden Boot at 3.75/1. Vela missed part of the 2020 season, opting out of the MLS is Back Tournament with family COVID concerns.

Carlos Vela celebrates scoring for LAFC
Carlos Vela celebrates scoring for LAFC

His LAFC teammate Diego Rossi won the Golden Boot in 2020 with 14 goals, and he is second in the odds this year at 4.5/1. Seattle's Raul Ruidiaz had 12 goals last year and checks in at 6/1 to lead the league in scoring in 2021.

Atlanta United's Josef Martinez scored 31 goals en route to the 2018 Golden Boot and MVP. He missed last year with a torn ACL but is back this season and 7/1 to lead the league in goals.

Gonzalo Higuain in action for Inter Miami
Gonzalo Higuain in action for Inter Miami

Argentine superstar Gonzalo Higuain is ready for his first full season in the MLS with David Beckham's Inter Miami. The league's highest-paid player is 11/1 to lead the league in scoring after having monster goal-scoring seasons in Serie A and La Liga.

READ MORE: Quarter-finals are over but which club is the favourite to win the Champions League?

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