How Dempsey’s World Cup goal compares to previous record-breaking moments in American sports

Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey set a U.S. World Cup record for fastest goal by scoring 30 seconds into Monday’s opening match against Ghana. Originally timed at 29 seconds, the left-footed strike was the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history. Dempsey also became the first American to score in three consecutive World Cups.

On February 2, the Seahawks set a Super Bowl record by scoring 12 seconds into each half of their 43-8 win over the Broncos. The number 12 proved to be very significant to the Seahawks throughout last season (and every season).

Here are five other notable plays in small periods of time that set records for American sports:

1) With his team trailing the Spurs by eight in the final minute of a 2004 NBA regular season game, Rockets guard Tracy McGrady scored 13 points in 33 seconds to secure a dramatic victory for Houston.

2) This past March, Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk tied the NHL record for fastest goal by scoring four seconds into a period.

3) Tim Tebow may not be employed as a quarterback anymore, but the former Broncos signal-caller did make some history before his departure. Led by Tebow, Denver ended the shortest overtime in NFL history with an 80-yard touchdown.

4) In 1968, American runner Tommie Smith became the first person to run 200 meters in less than 20 seconds.

5) Last season, Tim Cahill of the New York Red Bulls recorded the fastest goal in MLS history, a long-distance volley just eight seconds into their match against Houston.

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