Kristin Ostby, editor at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, has signed soccer star Alex Morgan, a member of the U.S. Women’s Olympic gold medal-winning team, to write a middle-grade series called the Kicks. Centering on a group of soccer-playing best friends, the series, Ostby says, will show that “sports are such an integral part of girls’ lives – as much as friends and boys.”

The pitch came to S&S shortly after Morgan scored the game-winning goal against Canada in the Olympic semi-finals on August 6. “I’m a fan of women’s soccer and had been following Alex long before this project came along,” Ostby says. Morgan, 23, is a forward for the Seattle Sounders Women and was the youngest U.S. player at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The first book in the Kicks series is scheduled for summer 2013, with at least two more books to follow. Eric Simonoff at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment brokered the deal for world English and audio rights.