West Ham sign Mexico striker Franco

LONDON - West Ham United have signed Mexico striker Guillermo Franco, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

No contract details were given on West Ham's website but the 32-year-old Franco, who had been without a club, was delighted to get the opportunity of first-team football in the lead-up to the 2010 World Cup.

"This is a very important stage in my career and I hope to score lots of goals for the club this season and then play at the World Cup," the former Villarreal, San Lorenzo and Monterrey player said.

A member of Mexico's 2006 World Cup squad in Germany, Franco was called up by national coach Javier Aguirre for this month's 2010 qualifiers and scored in the 3-0 win at Costa Rica.

West Ham, 13th in the standings, host Liverpool on Saturday.