Clint Dempsey celebrates his goal, scored just 29 seconds into the USA's World Cup clash against nemesis Ghana.
Michael Steele/Getty Images
By Avi Creditor
June 16, 2014

Past editions of the U.S. men's national team had issues with conceding goals early. Most notably, the 2010 World Cup version, which allowed Ghana's Kevin-Prince Boateng to score in the fifth minute of their round of 16 clash. Clint Dempsey let everyone know that this U.S. team is, indeed, out to write a different story.

Dempsey scored 29 seconds (officially clocked by FIFA, which initially claimed 34 seconds before changing its ruling) into the USA's World Cup opener against Ghana, stunning the Black Stars with a close-range finish on the game's opening sequence for the fifth-fastest goal in World Cup history. It also marked the third World Cup in which Dempsey, who later suffered what he thought was a broken nose after taking a kick to the face, has scored, with him doing so in 2006 and 2010 as well.

Left back DaMarcus Beasley combined with Jermaine Jones down the left, with the latter flicking the ball on for Dempsey. The U.S. captain juked Ghanaian center back John Boye and finished with aplomb with his left foot to spark a dream start for the Americans, who eventually prevailed 2-1 on John Brooks' dramatic 86th-minute header. 

Here's how the USA's hot start unfolded:

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