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Youth Boys Nov 30, 2018

Elite Tournaments exec Matt Libber to be named Md. SoccerPlex chief

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WASHINGTONTrish Heffelfinger, longtime executive director of the Maryland SoccerPlex, is retiring next month, and her successor will arrive from what some might consider an unexpected direction.

Matt Libber

Matt Libber, one of the central figures at the SoccerPlex’s cross-state counterparts Elite Tournaments, will be officially announced as the sprawling Germantown facility’s next director later today, marking a new chapter in the two-decade history of the complex.

One of the largest and fastest-growing event management companies in North American soccer, Mt. Airy, Maryland-based Elite Tournaments has been seen by industry insiders as a competitor to the SoccerPlex over the years, as the two organizations hold similar events that appeal to a similar youth soccer demographic. Over the years Elite has grown to a national scope, however, running dozens of tournaments across 17 states – and counting – on a year-round calendar.

A family-run business, Elite Tournaments was founded by Matt’s brother Mike, who still serves as president. Matt has held the position of VP of business operations since 2011 after working more than a decade as director of operations.

“Matt brings a passion for sports as well as the demonstrated financial and marketing skills demanded by a rapidly transforming soccer market,” commented Brent Hanson, Chairman of the MSF Board of Directors. “Our national search evaluated a number of qualified candidates and we are thrilled to have someone in place who can hit the ground running. Matt has successfully promoted sports events across the country and will provide the entrepreneurial spark needed to take the Foundation to the next level.”

Trish Heffelfinger

Libber brings some 20 years of deep experience in running major events and will surely be quite familiar with the SoccerPlex facility and its constituents – perhaps as much as anyone on the planet, as a Maryland native who’s worked in and around the region’s youth sports scene for most of his life.

“This is an exciting opportunity to continue the rich legacy paved by the outgoing executive director while taking on the challenge to reach new levels of growth and excellence in the future,” Libber said. “I look forward to leading the Maryland Soccer Foundation and continuing the effort to make the Maryland SoccerPlex the best sports complex in the country.”

In taking the mantle from Heffelfinger, who has worked for the SoccerPlex and its parent organization, the Maryland Soccer Foundation, since its inception, Matt takes over one of the largest soccer facilities in the United States.

Known to regular visitors as “the ‘Plex,” the venue hosts upwards of 5,000 league and tournament matches a year, which bring an estimated 650,000 visitors and some $25 million in economic impact to that bucolic corner of Montgomery County every year.

Its showcase mini-stadium, Maureen Hendricks Field, is the home of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit and regularly hosts D.C. United’s U.S. Open Cup matches and other special events like NCAA games. An award-winning grounds crew maintains some of the best-quality natural-grass pitches on the East Coast.

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