Ricardo Bocanegra will try his hand and feat with the Charlotte Independence. (Photo courtesy of the Cosmos)

Ricardo Bocanegra is a Cosmos no more.

The playmaking midfielder, a key reason why the team reached the National Premier Soccer League final, has signed with the Charlotte Independence of the USL Championship.

Bocanegra, a former Mexican Under-23 international, had an option to return to the Cosmos for the NPSL Members Cup competition, but decided against it.

“This is part of the business,” Cosmos head coach Carlos Mendes said. Ricardo felt like maybe that was a good opportunity for him. We thank him. It was great to have him here. Great player, great person, helped us tremendously. Sometimes these things happen and that was a decision made on both ends. Wish him the best.”

Replacing Bocanegra, who was a threat to score or set up teammates, won’t be easy.

“It will be difficult,” Mendes said. “Obviously, he’s a great player. He was a big piece of the team throughout the NPSL season. We have great confidence in the guys who are here. We expect to keep the level the same and guys will get opportunities. It will be a chance for somebody else to step up.”

The Cosmos made their Members Cup debut Saturday night, recording a 1-0 win at Chattanooga FC Saturday.

They will host the Milwaukee Torrent in their first home game of that season at Mitchel Athletic Complex in Uniondale, N.Y. Saturday at 7 p.m.