Ricardo Bocanegra has played for several teams in Mexico. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

NEW YORK – The Cosmos announced Friday they had signed midfielder Ricardo Bocanegra.

Bocanegra, who was born in the United States, has spent the bulk of his career in Mexico, having come up through the youth ranks at Liga MX side Atlas FC.

The 29-year-old midfielder will play for the Cosmos during the National Premier Soccer League season and the NPSL Founders Cup.

“I feel happy with this opportunity,” Bocanegra said. “I’m very motivated and committed because of the big names that have played in this team, such as Pelê and Raûl. I feel very motivated and I look forward to joining the club and putting on its jersey. But more importantly, I am here because I want to demonstrate what I am made of as well to give my very best efforts to the club and get results.”

He began his youth career with Atlas in 2007 and stayed with the club through 2015, making 69 appearances and scoring twice in all competitions. Bocanegra has also played with Irapuato FC during a loan spell in 2014, Correcaminos UAT, and Murciêlagos in Ascenso MX. In 2017, the midfielder plied his trade outside of Mexico for the first time, making 17 appearances and scoring a goal for Real Esteli FC of the Nicaraguan first division.

“I am very happy to be playing here [in the U.S.] as it is where I was born, however because of my family I spent most of my career and my life in Mexico,” Bocanegra said. “Now it is time to play on this side [of the border], so I’m glad and feel very motivated to start demonstrating my efforts but most importantly to get the results for the team. This is what the club wants and I want the same. I want to aim for big things, so I am extremely excited to be wearing this jersey and showing off this crest, which I know is very big and historically well known. I cannot wait to start training with the club.”

Bocanegra has represented Mexico at the youth level and helped the nation win the gold medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

“It’s exciting to have a player of Ricardo’s caliber join us,” Cosmos senior vice president Joe Barone said. “He has gained plenty of experience during his career in Mexico and will be a vital player here in New York.”

Cosmos coach Carlos Mendes added: “We are very excited to have a player of Ricardo’s quality join our club. He brings tremendous experience and is a dynamic player. He has played at a very high level and will provide leadership and stability on the field to our team. I look forward to seeing him in a Cosmos jersey.”

More information on the team and 2019 NPSL Founders Cup will be announced at a later date.