Higher-seeded road teams won both Eastern Conference playoff openers Saturday, with conference champ Sporting Kansas City using two Teal Bunbury goals to knock off defending MLS Cup champion Colorado and Houston scoring twice in the first half en route to a victory at defensive-minded Philadelphia.
Bunbury scored four minutes into the second half and converted a penalty kick 10 minutes later to lead Sporting to a 2-0 triumph at Colorado, which missed injured captain Pablo Mastroeni and lost three more players -- forward Caleb Folan and defenders Kosuke Kimura and Drew Moor -- to injury.
Houston beat the Union, 2-1, with Calen Carr's 30th-minute strike making the difference after Dynamo defender Andre Hainault, from a Brad Davis set piece, and Philly's Sebastien Le Toux traded goals in the sixth and seventh minutes.
K.C. will be home for the second leg Wednesday, and Houston plays its home leg Thursday. The series winners meet in the Eastern final next Sunday.
Houston's win was its first in five meetings with Philadelphia, which debuted last year in MLS. Sporting's triumph hinged on Colorado defender Tyrone Marshall's nightmare of a night -- he was beaten by Bunbury on the first goal, then dragged down the speedy forward in the Rapids box for the PK, picking up a red card in the process.
H -- Andre Hainault (Brad Davis) 6
P -- Sebastien Le Toux (Michael Farfan) 7
H -- Calen Carr (Brian Ching) 30
PPE Park (Chester, Pa.)
Philadelphia Union 1, Houston Dynamo 2
Philadelphia Union: Faryd Mondragon; Sheanon Williams, Stefani Miglioranzi (Jack McInerney, 62), Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Gabriel Farfan; Michael Farfan, Brian Carroll, Justin Mapp (Roger Torres, 68); Sebastien Le Toux, Danny Mwanga (Freddy Adu, 76).
Houston Dynamo: Tally Hall; Andre Hainault, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Corey Ashe; Danny Cruz (Je-Vaughn Watson, 64), Adam Moffat, Luiz Camargo, Brad Davis; Calen Carr (Will Bruin, 76), Brian Ching (Carlo Costly, 71).
Yellow cards: G. Farfan 4, Miglioranzi 17, Cruz 27, Williams 39, Moffat 40, Carroll 65.
Referee: Jair Marrufo. Att.: 18,539.
DSG Park (Commerce City, Colo.)
SKC -- Teal Bunbury (Julio Cesar) 49
Colorado Rapids 0, Sporting Kansas City 2
SKC -- Teal Bunbury pen. 59
Colorado Rapids: Matt Pickens; Kosuke Kimura (Tyrone Marshall, 36), Drew Moor (Scott Palguta, 60), Marvell Wynne, Miguel Comminges; Brian Mullan, Jeff Larentowicz, Wells Thompson, Sanna Nyassi; Omar Cummings, Caleb Folan (Macoumba Kandji, 23).
Sporting Kansas City: Jimmy Nielsen; Chance Myers, Julio Cesar (Jeferson, 78), Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic; Kei Kamara (Soony Saad, 89), Aurelien Collin, Graham Zusi, Roger Espinoza; C.J. Sapong, Teal Bunbury (Davy Arnaud, 69).
Yellow cards: Bunbury 47+, Nyassi 63. Red card: Marshall 57.
Referee: Baldomero Toledo. Att.: 8,601.
Real Salt Lake 3 (Saborio 41, 53, Grabavoy 88), Seattle 0
FIRST ROUND, FIRST LEG
New York 0, Galaxy 1 (Magee 15)
Philadelphia 1 (Le Toux 7), Houston 2 (Hainault 6, Carr 30)
Colorado 0, Sporting Kansas City 2 (Bunbury 49, 59)
FIRST ROUND, SECOND LEG
Colorado at Sporting Kansas City, 5 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
Real Salt Lake at Seattle, 7 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes)
Philadelphia at Houston, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes)
New York vs. Galaxy at Home Depot Center (Carson), 8 p.m. (ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes)
Sunday, Nov. 6
Western or Eastern final, 2:30 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel)
Western or Eastern final, time TBA (ESPN or ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes)
MLS CUP 2011
Sunday, Nov. 20
At Home Depot Center (Carson), 7 p.m. (ESPN and Galavision)
Wednesday, Oct. 26
FC Dallas 0, New York 1 (Lindpere 61)
Thursday, Oct. 27
Colorado 1 (Cummings 45), Columbus 0
Home teams listed first; all times Pacific