Andrew Chang: I have spent over 25 years in Northern Virginia. When giving people the hard sell on the Old Dominion, I never fail to mention the greatest perk of living here: the four seasons. For the entirety of my childhood and adolescence, the changing of seasons really meant the changing of the sport season – football in the Fall, basketball in the Winter, tennis in the Spring, and Slip n’ Slide/Crocodile Mile in the Summer. Soccer was the anomaly as it was played year round and not limited to just the Fall, and it was soccer that introduced me to Tareq Tahboub. It seems only fitting that I would have met Tareq playing pick-up at our alma mater, George Mason University where I studied Business Management. Fast-forward five years from that day, through my times as a consultant at EDS, BearingPoint, and CGI Federal, and here we are, creating NextGame. We snagged business savant/soccer phenom Shareef Tahboub along the way, and have never looked back.
When I am not working on NextGame, I enjoy reading, exploring throughout China (my father’s place of birth), cruising through Colombia (my mother’s place of birth), relaxing with my friends, family, and the spotted dachshund, Bear, and of course, kicking the ball around.
Shareef Tahboub: I grew up playing soccer and some of my first memories are from being at soccer camps my father ran in Charlottesville, Virginia. While I have always played soccer, I have also dabbled in other sports. Got into rock climbing for a while and took a year or so of Brazilian jiu jitsu lessons. Lately I have been doing a lot of running and recently ran my first half marathon. I went to the University of Richmond and played varsity soccer for two years and then played both club and intramural soccer. After U of R, I spent five years in consulting and was based in the DC area and then came back to Charlottesville to work with my family to develop senior housing communities. While pursuing my Executive MBA at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, I took an independent study to work on the NextGame idea that Tareq and Andrew developed. It has been a ton of fun and we are genuinely excited.
I got married in October of 2009 to an amazingly supportive wife, Jackie, who supports me in all my endeavors! Thanks Jacks, I love you. So that is pretty much it about me. Oh, other hobbies include watching movies, doing the worm at weddings and pretending to be a ninja.
Tareq Tahboub: Being the youngest of four soccer players, it only made sense that I played too. Soccer has always been a passion of mine, on and off the field. I met Andrew at George Mason University while playing intramural and pickup games, on and off campus. After graduating from GMU in 2006, I entered the working world as a Penetration Tester (ha!) in Northern Virginia. I’ve always found time to play soccer, no matter what. I’ve had multiple gym memberships and made attempts at other sports over the years but I keep coming back to soccer. I like to think it keeps me sane. I have spent the past year working on NextGame with Andrew and, more recently Shareef. We have developed an amazing team dynamic and we are constantly having fun no matter how crazy things have gotten, especially over the past few months.
I love traveling and spent last summer with a great group of friends traveling Spain – playing pickup soccer in Gijon, running with the bulls in Pamplona and watching Spain win the World Cup with thousands of other spectators in downtown Barcelona! Next stop… Brazil 2014!