JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Alex Morgan scored twice and the U.S. women’s national team got three goals in the space of four minutes early in the second half to beat Mexico 4-1 on Thursday night in the first of two exhibition matches between the teams.
Morgan’s first goal came on a penalty kick a minute the second half to put the United States up 2-0. She added another goal shortly thereafter with a shot that bounced off the far post and into the goal.
Carli Lloyd, who came in as a second half substitute, scored in the 54th minute. It was her 99th international goal.
Katie Johnson scored for Mexico in the 64th minute.
Mallory Pugh scored her fourth goal of the season in the sixth minute to open the game for the United States at EverBank Field, home of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars. Announced attendance was 14,360.
The U.S. continues to play without midfielder Tobin Heath, who also missed the SheBelieves Cup earlier this year because of offseason ankle surgery. Also unavailable for the match was defender Julie Ertz, who aggravated a knee injury during the SheBelieves Cup
Coach Jill Ellis did not name forward Christen Press to the roster for the two games against Mexico. Press, who was traded to the Houston Dash in the offseason but never joined the National Women’s Soccer League club, is currently playing in Sweden with Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC.
Press hadn’t signed on with the team when Ellis named the roster. The coach said one of the national team’s expectations was that players on the roster had already returned to training with club teams.
The second match in the series was set for Sunday in Houston. The game will mark Lloyd’s return to the city since she was traded from the Dash to Sky Blue in the offseason.
Both teams are preparing for World Cup qualifying this fall. The United States, ranked No. 1 in the world, is the defending World Cup champion.