By Jimmy Carlton Sportswriter Published May 09, 2018 at 9:02 PM

The Milwaukee Bavarians, one of the nation's oldest and most successful soccer clubs, are kicking off their quest for a third consecutive league championship, and the season starts this weekend.

The Bavarians’ 2018 opener is on Saturday at 6 p.m. against Granite City FC (Minn.) at Heartland Fund Stadium, 700 W. Lexington Rd. in Glendale. Tickets are $8 at the door, but a season pass for all five home UPSL games is just $30. This year, the soccer team is partnering with Bavarian Bierhaus to offer a game-day special: buy-one, get-one liter beer with the purchase of a season pass.

The Bavarians, who won the Premier League of America (PLA) the last two seasons, are beginning their first campaign in the United Premier Soccer League. Milwaukee is in the Midwest Conference North Division, along with fellow Wisconsin teams Croatian Eagles SC, Green Bay United and Madison 56ers, as well as FC Minneapolis, Granite City FC and USAi Old Bhoys.

After Saturday, Bavarians’ other four home UPSL games are May 20 vs. Croatian Eagles (6 p.m.), June 2 vs. Madison 56ers (7 p.m.), June 9 vs. Green Bay United (7:30 p.m.) and July 15 vs. FC Minneapolis (3 p.m.). 

In their 89-year history, the Bavarians have won six national championships and at least 30 league titles, becoming one of the most accomplished amateur clubs in the country. To learn more about Bavarians’ history, growth and success, read OnMilwaukee’s 2016 interview with Tom Zaiss, Bavarian's director of operations, program director and staff coach.

Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.

After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.

Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.