Voices call out from the past at the Bavarians stadium on game days.
This is no abstraction. Many of the old-timers, literally, huddle near the concession stand and murmur about the state of play today and compare it to the old days. At this 94-year-old amateur club, a few miles north of downtown Milwaukee, the past grumbles, whispers and shouts.
“This is a club built on tradition,” said Braden Andryk, 26, who helped keep that long tradition of success alive with a pair of National Amateur Cup crowns in 2018 and 2022. His brother Logan, older by two years and still an important member of the team, agreed: “To add more stars over this crest is special and it doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s built up over years, like close to a hundred years.”
To keep the record straight, there are nine stars now crowding out the Bavarians crest.
The Andryk brothers, both former standouts at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, lined up for the Bavarians the last time they reached an Open Cup Proper, back in the 2019. And they’ll both be in the United Premier Soccer League (UPSL)-based team that returns to that big stage this year – as defending National Amateur Champions.
The Bavarians began life in 1929 as Fussball Club Bayern. They’re among the top amateur teams in American soccer history and one of only a handful with their own stadium. In the old days, visiting German professional sides like Bayern Munich, Stuttgart and Frankfurt, played friendlies there.The club has made one appearance in the U.S. Open Cup Final and went on to earn eight national amateur titles (six National Amateur Cups and two National Amateur Open Cups). They’re known as much for their success on the field as they are for their firm roots in American soccer history. It’s worth noting that the first soccer game in America, at least on the official record, was played in Waukesha, a few minutes away from Milwaukee, way back in 1866.