From the familiar landscape of Key Biscayne to the famous grounds of Harvard University, author Andrea Montalbano, a former soccer player, continues to make strides in the world of competitive sports by championing female athletes.
“Soccer Sisters”, Montalbano’s book series, focuses on the camaraderie and commitment of young female footballers, which binds them to each other and to sport. Themes include friendship, teamwork and dedication. The books, Montalbano says, also spotlight “authentic football action”.
Montalbano said the inspiration for “Soccer Sisters” was “easy and fun”, with little research required due to his lifelong involvement in the sport, at the highest level. The storylines stem from “genuine feelings while playing as a child, playing in high school, and later playing in college.”
A former Harvard soccer star (graduating in 1990), Montalbano said things came together as she prepared a speech for her induction into the Harvard Soccer Hall of Fame. Realizing how much of an impact football had on her life, she concluded that football was “one of the defining factors in who I became as a person”.
“It taught me to be strong,” she said. “It taught me how to deal with stress. It taught me to take criticism and pick myself up.
Putting these thoughts into words for her speech, Montalbano decided to write a book for young girls to read and perhaps learn – something she wished she had available to her as a young girl entering the world of competitive soccer.
With three books in the “Soccer Sisters” series, plus another book, “Breakaway,” which addresses similar themes, Montalbano today continues to inspire with his words of encouragement and sisterhood.
The use of the term “brotherhood” in the books is intentional, said Montalbano, who now lives in Bronxville NT. “It is irreplaceable. This is the beginning of those strong women and forever female friendships.
She said she hopes her stories “tap into the pure joy of what it’s like to be part of a team in order to get back to basics.”
Growing up on the Key in the 1970s, Montalbano said she was lucky to find herself in a place that “supported and sponsored a great program for girls” — something that was way ahead of its time. She then attended Coral Gables High School and graduated in 1986.
In addition to her books, Montalbano co-founded Girls of Armenia Leadership Soccer (GOALS), a non-profit organization that seeks to transform the lives of young women in Armenia through soccer.
GOALS has received strong support around the world. In fact, two-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Brandi Chastain called Montalbano her “official soccer sister” while advocating for GOALS.
The books in the series are ‘Soccer Sisters: Out of Bounds’, ‘Soccer Sisters: Caught Offside’ and ‘Soccer Sisters: One on One’, plus the series precursor, ‘Breakaway’. All are available for sale online at Amazon, Nook (by Barnes and Noble), and indiebound. Org. For more information, email Montalbano at email@example.com or visit https://soccersisters.com