By Karen Price | April 05, 2018, 10:41 p.m. (ET)
Alex Morgan handles the ball in the first half against Mexico on April 5, 2018 in Jacksonville, Fla.

 

If Thursday night’s friendly between the U.S. women’s national soccer team and Mexico was a preview of things to come in World Cup qualifying, Team USA ought to be feeling pretty good.

Of course, much could happen over the next six months and the contest in Jacksonville, Florida was just a friendly, but the U.S. nonetheless controlled the game in a 4-1 victory. Team USA improved to 4-0-1 in 2018.

Nineteen-year-old Mallory Pugh converted a crossing pass from Megan Rapinoe to score her fourth goal of 2018 in the sixth minute and the U.S. held the 1-0 lead going into the half.

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In the second, the U.S. broke things open beginning with a penalty kick from Alex Morgan in the 51st minute. Two minutes later, Morgan scored again to make it 3-0. Team USA would make it 4-0 with their third goal in four minutes, this time from sub Carli Lloyd for her 99th international goal. Mexico scored its lone goal of the match in the 64th minute. The two teams will meet again on Sunday in Houston.

The U.S. and Mexico, along with Canada, have automatic spots in the CONCACAF Women’s Championship, to be held in the United States this October. Three of the eight teams in the tournament will earn an automatic spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.

Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.