- Associated Press - Friday, March 6, 2015

The top-ranked German national team was stung Friday when midfielder Luisa Wensing broke her leg in Algarve Cup play, shortly after the team announced that reigning FIFA women’s player of the year Nadine Kessler will have knee surgery.

Wensing broke her right leg during Friday’s 2-0 victory over China in group play at the tournament in the Algarve region of Portugal.

Earlier in the day, the team announced that Kessler would need surgery on the left knee she injured last October. The surgery will sideline her for the rest of her club season with Wolfsburg, but it is not yet known if it will keep her out of the Women’s World Cup in Canada later this year.

“My greatest wish is to be permanently free of pain,” Kessler said in a statement released by the national team.

Defending champion Germany is 1-1-0 at the Algarve Cup in Group A. Brazil, No. 8 in the world rankings, sits atop the group following a 2-0 victory over No. 5 Sweden on Friday.

The second-ranked U.S. women defeated Switzerland 3-0 on Friday to go up 2-0-0 and lead Group B at the tournament. Alex Morgan, Amy Rodridguez and Abby Wambach all scored for the Americans. In the same group, Norway defeated Iceland 1-0.

Third-ranked France remained undefeated to lead Group C with a 4-1 victory over Denmark. Defending World Cup champion Japan defeated Portugal 3-0.

The annual tournament in the Algarve region is serving this year as a tuneup for the Women’s World Cup in Canada, which kicks off in June. Nine of the 12 teams in the Algarve Cup field are headed to the World Cup, including the top five teams in the FIFA rankings.

The group stage continues Monday at several venues across the region. The tournament, in its 22nd year, has a new format this year that gives all the teams playing in the group stage a chance to play in the final. In previous years lower-tier teams could only play for spots in the placement matches.

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